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Conference Site

Cidade de Goa »
Vainguinim Beach
Dona Paula - 403004
Goa, India
E-mail : [email protected]
Tel:+91 832 2454545
Fax:+91 832 2454541/42

About Goa

Known as "Pearl of the Orient" and a "Tourist Paradise", the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. Panaji (Panjim) is the state capital located on the banks of the Mandovi river. Tourism is a major industry in Goa. On an average a million people, including 1.25 lakh foreigners visit Goa. The territory is known for its numerous beaches such as Calangute, Colva and Vagator. Essentially export-oriented because of iron ore and manganese deposits. Paddy is the main agricultural crop, followed by ragi, cashew and coconut. Rice is the staple food of Goans. Fish, like rice, is an important component of the Goans' food.

Travel Checklist

All non-Indian-citizens are required to have an Indian visa to enter the country. Allow yourself sufficient time (say 4 weeks) to procure an appropriate visa from your nearest Indian consulate. There are several Indian consulates worldwide. Indian consulates in the continental US are located in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco. All participants traveling from the United States must use this web site to obtain Indian visa. All other participants must contact Indian Embassy/ Consulate General of India in their respective countries for information on obtaining an Indian visa.

Important Note:Participants who require a Indian visa to travel to HiPC are to note that visa processes have changed since last year. Participants are advised to check the exact set of requirements/documents that the Indian Embassy at their respective countries require. Most Indian embassies are requiring that visa applicants also include a copy of the conference clearance letter from corresponding government authorities (local government as well as central government). We are working actively with the Government of Goa, and the Ministry of Information Technology (New Delhi) to get these corresponding clearances. We expect to have the clearance letters available around 20th of October. Please prepare all other documents required for your visa by then, so that you can expedite your visa process as soon as we have the clearance. It is to be noted that visa approval may take anywhere from 3-4 weeks; earlier if there are no additional clarifications required. Please prepare accordingly.

Invitation letters from the conference organizers can be obtained at any time - if you need an invitation letter from the HiPC organizing committee for visa purposes, use the online visa letter request form to submit the relevant information. Note that this invitation letter may be issued only to attendees who have paid their registration fees in full and are eligible to travel to India.

Update [November 6, 2010]: Visa invitation letters from the govt. of India have been dispatched as of Friday November 5, 2010. Please email visa[AT] if you have not received it so far.

Flight Reservations
Flights to India and Goa in particular tend to fill up well ahead of the December holiday season. We recommend that you make your flight as well as lodging reservations 3-4 months in advance, to be on the safe side. We strongly recommend that you avoid arriving in New Delhi or taking flights that stop in New Delhi en-route to Mumbai (Bombay) or Chennai (Madras) -- winter fog often throws air-traffic off-gear in New Delhi. For more information, see the transportation section of this page.

Vaccinations (shots)
Many first-time travelers to India prefer to get preventive vaccinations(shots). The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India has some more health tips for tourists.

Foreign Exchange
While international credit cards are widely accepted in commercial establishments in India, several places rely on cash transactions in the local currency (Indian Rupee), especially if the purchase value is not very high. We suggest that you either carry some Indian currency when entering India or purchase Indian currency at the currency exchange agencies at the Indian airports, upon arrival. The current exchange rate is about Rs. 46/- per US dollar. The value of US Dollar has been fluctuating a lot recently. Please check the conversion rate before you travel. Once in India, you can purchase additional Indian currency from local branches of Citibank, Thomas Cook, etc. However, it is typically difficult to convert Indian currency back into foreign currency because of exchange regulations.

Hotel Reservations
Please make your hotel reservations ahead of time so that you get your choice of accommodation.

Time and Weather
The Indian Standard Time (IST) is 5 1/2 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time(GMT) and is 13 1/2 hours ahead of the U. S. Pacific Standard Time(PST). In December/ January the weather is mildly tropical with temperatures averaging about 27° Celsius (approx. 81° Fahrenheit) during the day and about 15° Celsius (approx. 59° Fahrenheit) during the night.
Sunrise: 6:10 am (approx.)
Sunset: 5:15 pm (approx.)


Flights to India: Goa is well connected by airline services to most major cities in India. All flights, national and international, to and from Goa, operate from the Goa Airport at Dabolim. The approximate driving time is 40 minutes & distance is 28 kms (17 miles) from the Airport to Hotel. Major airline operators such as Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines have flights carrying passengers and cargo in and out of Goa. Besides these, a number of chartered flights land in Goa from UK and other European countries. The national airline Air India also lands a few international flights, especially from the Gulf countries. Most international airlines have direct flights to India from Europe and Singapore/Hong-Kong. From the US, most international airlines fly to India with a single stop-over, either in Europe or in the Far East.
More information about the flights from and to Goa airport can be found at air-transport.
We recommend that you avoid flights into/via New Delhi if you are on a tight schedule -- winter fog in December often delays flights at New Delhi airport. Some Mumbai-bound flights stopover in New Delhi -- please check with your travel agent.
If you are planning to travel around India after/before the conference, check with your travel agent for attractive local air travel offers that are usually available with your international travel ticket.

Airport to Hotel Transportation
Goa's Dabolim Airport (GOI-Dabolim) is approximately 28 kms (about 17 miles) from Cidade de Goa. The driving distance is about 40 minutes. The hotel will provide complimentary airport transfers. Please confirm while making reservations. Prepaid taxi services are also available at the airport across from the baggage claim. The typical fare from the airport to the hotel is Rs 650.00.