For a large part of the year, Goa in India has little to worry about in terms of tourism because 2.6 million visitors flock to the area to enjoy the beautiful beach resorts and culture; however, once the rains arrive, the numbers drop significantly because of the lack of flights and accommodation.
Chartered flights will not enter the state and beachside abodes are abandoned due to safety risks, all of which means a lot of lost revenue. Despite these issues, people are now turning to a new form of "monsoon tourism" to attract visitors all year round and highlight the positive side of the rain.
The thought behind this new approach to the monsoon season seems to be focused on some interesting niches rather than just increased tourist numbers as a whole. Two areas of particular interest are packages for monsoon weddings and MICE tourism but the area that is key in this initiative is the Middle Eastern market.
Ex-pats that have moved to the area or those looking for a break from the climate are invited to experience the rainy season and the effect it has on the area, whether it is just a long weekend away or a trip rafting in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, and connection between Goa and the UAE is getting stronger.
Whether this venture will be a success remains to be seen because the idea is still in a developmental, creative stage where new marketing approaches are being tested to try and paint the season in the most positive light possible.
Facebook campaigns on the subject, contests to win holidays and national roadshows for domestic tourists are all great in the short term but how long will the idea of the alternative, out-of-season holiday or the fad of the monsoon wedding really last?
State tourism officials are convinced that Goa is at its best when it rains, now they just have to see if the rest of India and the Arab market agree and want to experience it for themselves.