Despite much efforts to revive the tourism sector of Goa post the lockdown, a lot needs to be done to help the persons who heavily depend on tourism in the state. After opening up the state’s borders for domestic tourists, the inflow in terms of numbers however hasn’t been very attractive.
Tourism minister Manohar Babu Azgaonkar however added that Goa’s tourism sector will only pick up after a covid-19 vaccine hits the market.
“We have opened our borders, but the response so far has not been impressive,” minister Azgaonkar said.
The hospitality sector has been badly affected, and despite resumption in tourism activities, the pick-up has not been rewarding.
As economic activity needed to resume desperately, hotels and restaurants were permitted to open across the state.
Furthermore, those currently operating are not doing that well as footfalls are below average, the tourism minister said.
“A lot of people in the hotel industry have been rendered jobless,” he added.
Speaking about the resumption of shacks along coastal stretch, the minister said that his department will allow beach shacks to open up this season and permissions for the same will be issued at the right time.
Some nearly 350 shacks operate every tourism season along Goa’s beaches.
However, a mix feeling exists as many are very sceptical to open up shacks owing to low tourist numbers. Also, shacks are largely flocked by international and high-spending tourists, which the state is unlikely to see anytime soon considering the prevailing pandemic situation across the globe.
Also, shack owners rely heavily on labour workforce from outside the state, such as chefs, waiters and even sometimes managers. A doubt exists among many if they will be able to recover the cost of operations and make ends meet if tourists’ numbers remain staggeringly low.
The tourism department has however not finalised anything much about shack operations, as many shack operators are awaiting to see what directives are issued by the government.
Meanwhile, most dependent on this sector will have to be content with the domestic arrivals, as they will prove to be key factor to the sectors survival this season as foreign tourists will be very minimal this year.