Goa has always been one of my favourite holiday destinations. However, the last season has been one of the least popular – and hence the dilemma. The thought of an inaugural flight on a brand new plane from the stable of Vistara (TATA SIA AIRLINES Limited) sounded exciting.
One of the rare places which offer amazing river and ocean views is the Acron Waterfront Resort in Baga. One of the best hotels, the serene resort with amazing food is a must visit for all travelers to Goa.
The outstanding stay at the Taj Vivanta in Panjim was another novel experience as this was one of the few hotels in Goa where I had not stayed before. The Chinese/oriental restaurant, Tamari served awesome food and has become one of my favourites ever since. There are plenty of options for Thai and Japanese cuisine as well with interactive dining. Thalassa-Mariketty’s Place in Anjuna which serves outstanding Greek food was the perfect venue for a sun dower with an outstanding view of the sunset. Tina Turner, singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, provided a perfect end to the evening. This was a surprise which left the entire audience completely spellbound!
From 68 frequencies weekly on commencement of operations in early January, Vistara has scaled up
to 197 frequencies to 8 destinations a week this month with the latest additions being Goa, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Bagdogra.
Several unique products and service offers like the spacious premium economy class on India’s domestic network at affordable prices and the option of auto check in provides some new exciting options for the passengers traveling within India.
Vistara dining options reminded me of SIA’s legendary hospitality in all three classes- economy, premium economy and of course business class. With menus changing every week, I felt really light and fresh after lunching in-flight which is usually not the case. The kokum cocktail and the vegetable quiche were a welcome change from what is usually served on domestic flights.
The colour scheme of aubergine with grey provided an ambience of calm and tranquility which added to a less stressful flight.
Tourist arrivals in India are expected to cross 8 million this year. Heritage sites like churches and convents of old Goa apart from forts of Rajasthan and Qutub Shahi Tombs in Telangana will be restored to their past glory. Also on the list are Hampi in Karnataka and Leh Palace in Ladakh. The recent announcement by the Indian Government of Visa on Arrival to include 150 countries from the current 43 will also boost tourism and provide a competitive advantage of India in comparison to South East Asia and the Middle East.
“India’s tourism potential remains largely untapped and we have the flexibility to write the rules of the game,” said Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO of Vistara who was with us on the flight.
The author is President and Chief Executive of Business Images, a leading public relations and image management consultancy firm