Goa is anything you want it to be, say world bloggers

100 Exhibitors. 230 Buyers. 65 Media.

Numbers don’t win battles, but they definitely win hearts. This was visibly evident in the Goa International Travel Mart 2019 (GITM 2019), which was held at Dr. Shyam Prasad Mukherjee stadium from October 23 to October 25.

Over 400 members of the global travel trade fraternity joined hands to discover the fascinating delights of Goa.

For the Indian travel trade, Goa isn’t unfamiliar territory. The state’s whole slew of beaches have lured many a travel buff and turned him/her into a travel writer or an influencer. Thousands of videos on Goa have gone viral since the inception of Youtube. Hashtag #Goa has been trending on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook forever.

For travel agents, Goa is the safest best. With an array of holiday packages, which comprises a healthy blend of beaches, churches, temples, forts, and plantations, the itineraries are ideal for Free Independent Travelers (FITs) as well as Group Inclusive Tours (GITs).

One of the key components in the promotional strategy of Goa Tourism was to include and invite as many travel writers and bloggers to experience the state in all its grandeur.

Katie Treharne, the youngest journalist to be invited from the UK to take part in GITM, sees Goa as a fusion of rich history and cultures.

“I envisioned Goa as a destination defined by its sun, sand, and sea. Since arriving, I have experienced first-hand that it is so much more. I have never visited a destination with such a harmony of history, cultures, and religions, which fuse together to create a state distinct from not just from the rest of India but also from the rest of the world. An overlying sense of kindness and openness followed me everywhere I moved in Goa, an affinity between all lives that seemed to continue into its sonorous natural beauty. There is so much more to Goa than the sand and sea. Its true nature can be found in abundance inland, from its bountiful spice farm to its architecture steeped in Portuguese traditions and its fervent waterfalls,” she said.

Goa is a paradise

Australian travel influencer Kimberly Conner who publishes Adventures and Sunsets, one of the most sought-after blogs by adventure travel enthusiasts, says Goa can be anything for anyone.

“To me, Goa is honestly whatever you want it to be. I learned that it really is the perfect destination for every kind of traveler, which is detailed in my article. Goa is a paradise to history buffs who want to visit historical sites and learn dramatic historical tales. Goa is paradise to foodies who want to trace back the roots of diverse and delicious cuisine. Goa is a paradise to adventurers who want to spend every waking moment exploring outdoors. Goa is paradise to backpackers who want to live cheaply, relax on the beach, and make friends. Goa is a paradise to luxury travelers who want to be waited on and have spa treatments. Goa is a paradise to people seeking spiritual awakening and ayurvedic lessons. Goa truly is paradise to everyone,” she says.

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FONTAINHAS, GOA . When I traveled to India, I was definitely not expecting to see European architecture and visit Christian churches… until I realized that Goa was a Portuguese colony for a VERY long time!! . And by that I mean Goa was a Portuguese colony for over 450 years, and the culture is very apparent in the architecture, food, dress, fashion, and even language in the area! . Here are some scenes from the gorgeous “Latin Quarter,” called Fontainhas. I adored the colorful streets and European architecture… I’d have thought I was in Europe if not for the very Indian monsoons that swept through as I was taking this tour! Check my ‘Goa’ highlights for some impressive monsoon scenes and a closer look at this little quarter. . . . . . . . . . . . . #fontainhas #latinquarter #goa #india #indiaphotography #india🇮🇳 #tourismgoa #incredibleindia #womenwhoexplore #gitm2019 #girlslovetravel #travelbloggeres #india_ig #wearetravelgirls #india_gram #girlsborntotravel #adventureculture #indiaclicks #goaindia #portugal #discoverearth #gitm #goatourism #goavelha #natgeotravel #historicaltravel #portuguese #sheisnotlost #indiapictures #explorerbabes

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Music is an important component that attracts tourists to Goa. “I love the music scene in Goa. As well as blogging about travel I also blog about music festivals and music scenes all over the world (I’ve been to festivals on 6 continents now) and the fact that Goa is the birthplace of trance music excites me greatly. I love learning about the history of music here, the ‘hippie trail,’ and how it has developed today to the trance parties on the northern beaches,” says Conner.

For Bo Saldana, a globe trotter and blogger from Spain, beaches are nothing new. Nonetheless Goa, with its fascinating history and delectable flavors, did offer him a new lease of life.  “For me, Goa signifies disconnecting, resting, relaxing, learning from its rich culture, its past, and present, and contributing to its tourist future,” says Saldana who publishes his travel stories on Elmundook.

“In Goa, I learned about its wonderful people, enjoy its amazing flavors, its smells. To learn to smile most of the time and have a plan b in case the weather conditions are not ideal. That helps a lot to meet the smallest state in India but with a big heart,” says Saldana, who says he would inspire more Spanish-speaking travelers to visit Goa.


‘Goa is India for Beginners’

For Vinod Adrian Brijbassi, a Canadian-based visual storyteller who publishes Vacay Network, Goa is the safest best for an international tourist.

“India for Beginners,” is what I would call Goa, he says.

He explained that Goa is the ideal place for most westerners who are visiting India for the first time.

“Goa is familiar, because of its European history, and it is also more laid back than Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. The nightlife is similar to what you might find in Spain or Greece, but it’s also exotic because of the Bollywood influence. Goa also has many assets that westerners want: amazing beaches, inexpensive food and shopping, outstanding culinary experiences, friendly people who aren’t pushy, and wellness and spiritual experiences. The people are very friendly and accommodating; the vendors are not pushy and there are not a lot of street people; the drivers are helpful and trustworthy; the restaurant workers are happy and professional,” he says.

Canadian-born blogger Mariellen Ward has made India her home, and it’s been over a decade since she moved to India, and the country continues to fascinate her. Ward, who recently won the National Tourism Award for her blog Breathe Dream Go, is a solo traveler whose prime focus is on sustainable tourism.

“Goa to me is a combination of a relaxing atmosphere, great beaches, and a very unique culture that’s infused with many flavors. The Portuguese colonial period has left an indelible mark on the small, tropical state, and graced it with colorful villas, graceful churches, and charming neighborhoods. Showcasing the off-the-beach-things to do in Goa is my main focus as a travel journalist and blogger. Goa is known worldwide for its beaches and relaxed “hippie” vibe, but there’s SO much more to the state. I would love to do a tour of the colonial architecture, for example, and dive into the history and the cuisine. I’m also interested in exploring wellness, Yoga, and Ayurveda in Goa. It’s becoming a rising star in India for wellness vacations,” she says.

Josip Novosel from Croatia, who publishes the bilingual blog called Flash. HR, says a tourist could expect pleasant surprises when in Goa.

“I didn’t know what to expect from Goa. I think that Goa is like life. It can be everything you want it to be. If you are searching for beautiful nature, long sandy beaches, luxury resorts, amazing food, adventure, culture, friendly people, wedding destination, you will find it in Goa. If you come to Goa for a crazy party, you will get it. If you just want to escape from everyday life and spend some quality vacation in an exotic place and not spend too much money, just enjoy a peaceful environment, you will also find this in Goa,” says Novosel.

Even for the Indian traveler who has visited Goa a zillion times, it remains an enigma. Casino tourism is picking up with players like The Big Daddy and Deltin Royale, who are combining the gambling experience with good food and great entertainment.

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#poledance @goatourism

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Meenakshi Gupta, an enthusiastic blogger and world traveler, who runs a blog called Tanhadil has been visiting Goa for almost two decades, and the destination never fails to impress.

“I have been visiting Goa every year for the last 20 years and still have not explored enough. Every time I see something new. I unplug myself in Goa because good vibes happen on the tides! I am ‘Myself’ in Goa!” says Gupta.

For couple bloggers, Sandy and Vyjay, Goa is a destination with endless possibilities. “Every time we visit Goa we discover some new facet of the beautiful state. Goa is a never-ending voyage in itself with something amazing waiting at every bend in the road. Though beaches are an integral part of Goa, there is so much to explore here beyond the beaches, be its heritage architecture, natural wonders, or wildlife. There is always a reason to return to Goa,” says the enthusiastic duo.

The awesome twosome has beautifully captured the churches of Goa on ImVoyager.com

Parasshuram Shalgar, contributor and senior editor with Blasting News, says Goa is for all age groups. “Goa is the best place in the world to be with family or friends whether it is vacationing or a short break. The scenic beaches, the climate, the nightlife all are very relaxing and rejuvenating.  As a blogger, I would write on various facets of Goa like the biggest tourist attractions, Beaches, Water Sports, Night Life, Casinos, Culture, food – particularly rice with fish curry, etc, which will definitely help in boosting tourism in Goa,” he says.

Dubai-based food and travel blogger John Thomas interviews the MD of Goa Tourism. 

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At the backdrop of the Goa International travel mart, I spoke to Mr. Nikhil Desai, the Managing Director of the Goa Tourism Board. Some of the main issues I asked him to touch upon are the GITM and what it means to Goa Tourism and the relevance of Middle East Market and flow of Tourists from the Gulf region to Goa. @goatourism #travelblogger #travelling #traveller #travelers #travels #travelblog #traveler #travellers #traveling #travelholic #travelingram #travelbug #travelpic #travelphoto #traveldiary #traveldiaries #travelandlife #travellife #travelpics #travelwriter #travelstagram #goa #travelersnotebook #instastravel #earthpix #trip #instatrip #travelingtheworld #ilovetravel #seetheworld

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Here are more Instagram posts that capture the essence of Goa.

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They say, when a happiness door closes on you, you should find another and kick it hard open. Life is short we gotta be happy in every present moment. – This is what @bambolimbeachresort made me feel. Thank you everyone at @bambolimbeachresort. Proud to showcase @travelmail to attend #GITM2019 by @goatourism #Goa #Goatourism #india #incredibleindia🇮🇳 Thank you @tanhadiltraveller for this shot! 😄 – #indianphotography #NGTdailyshot #indiaclicks #indiaphotoproject #indiapictures #_soi #artofvisuals #dslrofficial #artofvisuals #ig_color #_visualsofindia #moodygrams #travelrealindia #india #beautifuldestinations #delhiwale #photographers_of_india #indianshutterbug #liveforthestory #liveauthentic #igshotz #exploretocreate #travelandlife #huntgram #instagoodmyphoto #theworldshotz #indiapictures

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