Hotel industry in the state of Goa is one of the major source of bread earner for hundreds of thousands of people dependent on this business, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, one of the largest industry in Goa collapsed completely. Several people dependent on this industry became jobless overnight, finally, the un-lockdown 1.0 had brought some good news, but the so-called laid back approach of the government could not do much justice to the industry yet.
The news of the 30 hotels from various parts of Goa submitting their application to the Tourism Department for the reopening appeared on the Incredible Goa portal on 16th June after the central Government gave green light to hotels and restaurants to resume operations under the Un-lockdown 1.0 guidelines.
According to the reports, Hoteliers in Goa are now complaining about the laid back approach of the government to their applications seeking permission to restart business under Unlock 1.0.
According to the TTAG, (The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa) despite applying for permission as sought by the state government, none have been permitted to resume business said the TTAG president Mr Nilesh Shah.
“The 8th of June has been the date on which all the hotels and restaurants were required to open. Many hotels situated in bigger cities in India have already started to operate their business. It is almost 13 days and the industry is still waiting for an OK from the Government to start operating all these units,” said Nilesh Shah, the president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa.
It may be recalled that as per the reports published in the Incredible Goa earlier, the Goa Tourism Department had invited the applications from all the hoteliers in Goa who desired to reopen their properties as per the government guidelines.
The Chief Minister of Goa Dr Pramod Sawant had made an announcement that the hotels in the state can be reopened provided they follow the guidelines laid down by the government and the responsibility of checking this was given to GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation)
“They will have to follow the guidelines laid down by the Government and responsibility of checking that has been given to GTDC an autonomous body of Goa Tourism,” said the CM.
Accordingly, the GTDC invited applications from the hoteliers desiring to reopen their properties along with an undertaking that they will follow all the guidelines and SOP (standard operating procedures) as mandated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the process of submitting applications had started from June 8.
The next step after submission of application was the inspection of the properties by the department of tourism officials to ensure compliances before allowing them to restart. “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,”, the Director of Tourism Mr Menino D’Souza had said.
The TTAG has, however, claimed that despite more than 200 hotels applying to reopen, none have been given the go-ahead to do so. “Out of thousands of hotels waiting to reopen we have only about 200 who have applied for permission to reopen. Up to now there has been no go-ahead given by our state government to reopen,” Shah added.
Tourism is the major source of income in the tiny state of Goa which has come to complete standstill due to the Lockdown that was implemented to control the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the TTAG tourism industry in Goa generates approximately 40% of the state’s GDP The industry has also sought that bars and restaurants also be allowed to reopen in the state as hotels “cannot successfully (reopen) unless the bars and restaurants are given permissions to reopen as well.”
The restaurants have been allowed to reopen in the state with only half the capacity but aren’t allowed to serve alcohol, said the report.