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Absence of Charter Flights Spells Uncertainty on Goa’s Foreign Tourists’ Arrival

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Charter Flights to Goa
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A recent study conducted by IIT Mandi pointed out that the majority of the coronavirus cases within the country were brought in from passengers flying in from Dubai and the United Kingdom. 

For Goa, however, a tourism dependent economy, this means a large uncertainty about the resumption of full-fledged tourism activities in the state. 

As of now, the central government has not finalized anything with regards to the resumption of international tourism, and hence, for Goa, this means large questions as to when all regular tourism activities can resume. 

Although domestic tourism began early July, the influx of tourists has not been very large, however this month, several tourists were seen visiting Goa as part of a getaway. But, with many enjoying low-key and private activities, major tourism-related businesses have not really kicked off. 

For Goa, foreign tourists make up the bulk of the numbers, and with their absence, the tourism scenario appears bleak, at least for a while now. 

Although the coronavirus situation appears to have settled down in foreign countries that Goa’s tourism depends on, the situation in India doesn’t quite seem to be improving anytime soon. 

Yesterday, India crossed the six million mark of total confirmed cases and continues to have the highest growth rate in the world. 

For Goa too, cases have been rising rapidly, and as such, tourism inflow from international travel may only make things worse. The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has requested a travel bubble system and if all goes well, Goa could witness tourists coming in by November or December. 

Most travel companies are hoping for Goa’s tourism to pick up by the year-end, however, with no plans yet about charter flights resuming, nothing seems certain. 

Announcements from the central government with regards to the resumption of foreign air travel is awaited. Only then, many say that the entire picture will be understood. 

Several charter companies have already begun some process at least as countries such as Russia and UK, which are big markets for the Goan tourism sector, appear to have some promising numbers; if not now, at least by early January.   

Being badly affected, several businesses have not resumed operations due to a lack of tourists. Many jobs across the tourism industry also have been lost. 

The foreign quota of tourists provides for much of the business, unlike many domestic arrivals, and as such, many businesses await charter flight resumption to consider beginning their operations. 

Beach shack licenses too, which would otherwise be completed by September end are expected to commence from mid-October only. Many shack operators are not keen on beginning operations as there are no foreign tourists and the arrival of charter flights is uncertain for now.  

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