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Massive Dip in Tourists this season due to inflated food and stay costs makes the stakeholders of Goa Tourism industry check on their booking and food prices

Goa is considered to be an expensive place compared to the other states due to its high capita income and availability of manpower. The
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Goa is considered to be an expensive place compared to the other states due to its high capita income and availability of manpower. The manpower is the major hurdle many businesses face in Goa and tourism sector does not remain unaffected with that. Normally the assessment of the business activity takes place when there is a major dip in the business and something similar seems to have happened in the case of Goa.

Goa tourism industry has reached the point wherein they have decided to take stock of the situation to find out why there was a dip into the number of tourists in the state this year. According to the reports published by NDTV Hit by a decline in the number of tourists, the Goa tourism ministry is considering regulating food prices in restaurant and beach shacks and also keeping the check on online booking sites that artificially escalate hotel and lodging room rates.    

“We will be cracking down on those who escalate food prices during the season. If people have to eat expensive food, why they should travel here? The prices of dishes cannot go above Rs. 500. There has to be a limit. We will fine them if it goes above limits,” Goa tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said on Thursday.

Goa government spends millions of rupees to promote the tourism in the state but it seems the money is not spent in the proper direction and due to this there is a massive dip in the tourism business in the state, the tourism minister is now blaming the online portals for inflating the room tariff due to which the fall in tourist flow happened.   

The tourism minister also said that he is going to call the representatives of online room booking services and talk to them about the same. “We are going to call them (representatives of online room booking services). We do not want them here if they do this,” Mr. Ajgaonkar said.

He further stated that he had a meeting with tourism ministry officials about the artificial rate hikes of the rooms in the state by online portals which caused the fall in tourists flows to the state this season. “It was discussed yesterday. They show only two rooms (on online portals) and they escalate the prices. They do not show other rooms. Customers also do not have access to the hotel numbers. So they cannot cross-check,” Ajgaonkar said.

Meanwhile, The travel and tourism industry stakeholders have claimed that tourist numbers to Goa, which had attracted more than seven million tourists last season, had dropped considerably this season.    

There is a need of a visionary who can take the complete responsibility of reinstating the tourism sector of Goa back to the normal and until that happens the tourists are meant to leave Goa for the other available options. 

While the Tourism Ministry has claimed that it has not tabulated the tourist arrival figures for the year 2018 yet, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa Savio Messias has said that the dip was as much as 30 percent, adding that most hotels in the state were under-booked during the festive season, when bookings peak.

Recently the Calangute MLA Mr. Michael Lobo had also brought the issue of a dip in the tourists to flow to the state and blamed the tourism department for the same. This shows that there is a serious need of contemplation on this issue as presently the only source of income that Goa has is tourism and dip into the sales will only lead to the serious consequences in the future.

There is a need of a visionary who can take the complete responsibility of reinstating the tourism sector of Goa back to the normal and until that happens the tourists are meant to leave Goa for the other available options. 

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