Goa Travel Information
The state of Goa, in India, is famous for its beaches and places of worship, and tourism is its primary industry. Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland. Foreign tourists, mostly from Europe, arrive in Goa in winter, whilst the summer and monsoon seasons see a large number of Indian tourists. Goa handled 2.29% of all foreign tourist arrivals in the country in 2011.
This relatively small state is situated on the western coast of India, between the borders of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and is better known to the world as a former Portuguese enclave on Indian soil. Tourism is said to be the backbone of Goa’s economy.
Influenced by over 450 years of Portuguese rule and Latin culture, Goa presents a somewhat different representation of the country to foreign visitors. Major tourist attractions include: Bom Jesus Basilica, Fort Aguada, a wax museum on Indian culture, and a heritage museum. The Churches and Convents of Goa have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
How to get to Goa?
Goa International Airport at Dabolim near Vasco da Gama is the state’s only airport. It caters to domestic and international air services with at least two dozen arrivals from India and middle-eastern countries such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Doha, Dubai and Kuwait. Jet Airways, GoAir, Indigo, Air India, Qatar Airways and Air Arabia are among the major airlines that have scheduled flights to Goa. Several tourists from the UK and Russia avail of charter air services to Goa. In January 2016, the ministry of civil aviation relaxed the rules for charter airlines. Earlier chartered aircraft had to return empty after dropping off their passengers. With the change in the policy, these aircraft need not fly out with the same set of passengers thus cutting operating costs for airlines and reducing the tour package costs for travelers.
The South Western Railway and the Konkan Railway lines service the state of Goa. The former is a colonial era line that connects the port town of Vasco with Belgaum, Hubli etc. The more recent (and a pleasant) addition is the Konkan Railway line that was constructed in the ’90s and connects Margao to cities along India’s western coast. Before the Konkan Railway line became operational, roadways were the most preferred mode of transport for people traveling from cities along the west coast, such as Mumbai. Panaji, the state capital, does not have a railway station. Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama are two major railway junctions in Goa.
With the absence of a regular train service within the state, much of Goa depends upon privately-operated buses and government-run buses maintained by the Kadamba Transport Corporation to travel from one place to another. Even though the buses connect major towns and remote villages, several Goans depend on private transport to get around. Four National Highways — some of the narrowest in the country — run through Goa: NH66 connects Goa to Mumbai in the north and Mangalore to the south. NH-4A connects Panaji to Belgaum in the east and other cities such as Bangalore, Kolhapur etc. NH-366 connects NH-66 to Mormugao Port from Cortalim. Constructed to ease pressure on NH 366 for traffic towards Dabolim Airport and Vasco da Gama is the brand new four-lane NH-566 that connects Mormugao Port to NH-66 at Verna via Dabolim Airport.
Goa, being a part of the country of India follows the Indian Stand Time, The time zone followed in the state is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) + 05:30 hours.
Visitors to India must have a passport which is valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country. The passport should have at least two blank pages.
A visa is essential for all persons visiting India, except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan. Participants who already have valid Indian visas may enter the country freely. Those who do not have a valid visa need to apply for a visa.
There are two ways to get Indian visas:
1. eVisa from Bureau of Immigration:
Nationals of 166 countries can apply for a fuss free visa online which is issued in 48 hours or so. Please refer to the official website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html for more information
2. Normal Visa from Indian Missions Abroad:
Normal Visa applications must be made online via the Government of India website (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa). Please check the website of the Indian diplomatic mission in your country. The list of Indian diplomatic missions can be viewed at https://www.mea.gov.in/indian-missions-abroad-new.htm
It is recommended that you apply for the visa at least 28 days before the intended date of travel. Citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Foreigners of Pakistani origin and Stateless persons should apply for visas at least 90 days before the intended date of travel.
The invitation letter and the supporting documentation necessary for the visa with detailed instructions will be sent to participants once they are registered.
You can request for a visa invitation letter after you have registered. Kindly write to [email protected] with the information below:
Work Phone Number
Visa Application Location
Passport Issue Date
Passport Expiry Date
Date of Entry to India
Date of Exit from India