Goa has hundreds of hotels and high-end resorts that were shut down following the coronavirus crises. It has been almost 3 months that there is no movement and business in the hospitality industry of Goa and many of the hoteliers were waiting to reopen but when the state government made an announcement of reopening of the hotels only 30 of them have applied for the same. Why? Let’s take a look at the reality check.
Following the implementation of un-lockdown, 1.0 state government has started relaxing the norms on various businesses in Goa and one of the most affected amongst them all is the Hospitality Business that brings a major chunk of revenue to the state government.
Goa government has already allowed the restaurants to reopen and function (although many of them did not reopen as yet due to the lack of manpower) in the state but the hotel industry is still remains closed due to the new SOP to be formulated by the state government.
In one of the recent development, the state government had announced the reopening of the Hotel Industry and asked all the hoteliers to apply with Goa Tourism Development Corporation. “They will have to follow the guidelines laid down by the government and the responsibility of checking that has been given to the GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) an autonomous body of Goa Tourism,” said the CM.
According to the reports, only 30 hotels have applied so far for the reopening but the question here is why other hotels did not apply? they are not interested in reopening of the properties or they are playing the card of wait and watch?
The General manager of one of the prominent properties situated in the proximity of the capital city said on the subject of anonymity that most of the hoteliers are waiting and watching at the moment and that is why there is a small turnout at the moment. “Besides this, many hoteliers had a cut down in the staff strength due to no business. Many of them have also sent the staff on unpaid leaves,” he said adding that “Most of the people who were working in the hotel industry were outsiders and they have now gone back to their respective states and the possibility of them coming back is rare and hence many of the hoteliers have no option but to wait till things settle down.”
Meanwhile, the director of Goa Tourism Mr Menino D’Souza said that his department is in the process of formulating the SOP and guidelines for re-opening of the hospitality sector. Till now only 30 hotels have applied to the Goa Tourism Department for permission to re-open. “We have received around 30 applications from various hotels as of now. We will scrutinise these and after the government takes a call, we will allow them to open,” he informed the media.
According to Mr D’Souza, only those hotels which registered with the Tourism Department will be allowed to open. The applicants also need to provide a self-declaration form in which the hotel management shall provide in writing that they have adhered to the existing guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for hotels.
“All hotels which are willing to comply with the guidelines, have to apply to the department. We will verify whether they are in a position to comply with the guidelines,” he said, adding that the final nod would be given to them only after the state government forms a special SOP for the state for restarting of hotels.
Goa’s tally of COVID cases have crossed the mark of 500 and it is growing by the day. The tourism industry in the state has taken a hit on the account of COVID-19 Pandemic and to keep it alive it is necessary to reopen this industry as soon as possible.