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Goa, India's second smallest state in terms of area is located on the west coast of India, in the region known as the Konkan, and is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and Karnataka to the east and south. The Arabian Sea bounds it to the west. Panaji is the state's capital, and Vasco-da-Gama (Vasco) its largest town. Internationally renowned for its beaches, Goa is visited by hundreds of thousands of foreign and domestic tourists each year, and has become one of the most popular holiday destinations for European travellers.

Besides beaches, Goa is also known for its world heritage architecture including the Bom Jesus Basilica. Goa also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which are classified as a biodiversity hotspot.Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole, and one of its fastest growth rates.

Tourism is Goa's primary industry: it handles 14% of all foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In the winter time, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come to Goa to enjoy the splendid climate. In the summertime (which, in Goa, is the rainy season), tourists come from across India come to spend the holidays. Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland. In 2004 there were more than 2 million tourists reported to have visited Goa, 400,000 of which were from abroad. There are several reasons why tourists are visiting Goa in increasing numbers. First, because of the historical development of the area, the inhabitants of Goa are increasingly used to contact with foreigners. Additionally, a large portion of the Goanese people are Christians. This cultural heritage from the time of the Portuguese colonization makes the country somewhat more intimate to European or American people than the rest of the Indian subcontinent. Goan culture incorporates a very nonproblematic mix of Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.

The food of Goa is very famous; it is an interesting mixture of foods from Portugal, south India and Arabia (and, in the tourist season, from Kashmir as well). Goa is one of the few places in India that you can go to a restaurant and order (beside fish and chicken) both beef and pork, which are usually served very lightly spiced; beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks are sold freely. These attributes, together with the fact that Goa’s economy is among the most prosperous in India, have won Goa the nickname "India for the beginners" – the great differences between Europe and India, very apparent in other parts of India due to large slums and other problems, are much less pronounced.

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