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Goa Government To Take Call on Commencement of Beach Shacks

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Goa Beach Shacks
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With the coronavirus pandemic still looming large, this year’s tourism season stares at an uncertain future, as much needs to be done to help the sector – one that Goa heavily depends on for its economy.

The state’s tourism season – which usually begins soon after the south-west monsoons conclude – just has about a month to begin. With the state still grappling with the coronavirus cases, uncertainty looms large on various aspects of the sector’s opening.

Beach shacks – which are allowed annually after permissions for set-up are granted by the state’s tourism department – are not yet granted permission to operate. Nearly 350 shacks are allowed to operate along various beaches of the coastal state annually.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic though, it is learned that the tourism department is yet to decide on the opening of beach shacks. Goa opened up its borders for domestic tourists on July 2nd.

Restaurants though are open across the state, with several SOP’s put in place by the authorities. However, they aren’t allowed to serve liquor.

The coronavirus outbreak has pushed the tourism sector into a large uncertainty, as several businesses are still not certain to commence their operations due to rising covid cases in the state. Moreover, tourist footfall also needs to be adequate to begin beach shacks.

Tourist inflow – only domestic – has been allowed, though the numbers are still low considering the overall situation across the country. The numbers of tourists though are expected to only go up when the situation subsides, though nothing is clear as to when that would be.

Several beach shack owners have reported loses, as last year’s tourism season was a slumber, adding to that, the COVID-19 pandemic ended up making things worse, as several businesses had to shut down early in March, as compared to the usual May.

Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar in April had requested the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant for some relief for the tourism sector through the Prime Minister’s relief fund for COVID-19.

Furthermore, President of the Shack Owners’ Welfare Society (SOWS), said that they will approach the CM and Tourism minister to seek a concession in fees, as the shacks barely operated for three months last season and they had paid all the fees.

Beach shacks are temporary structures built, which are later dismantled with the onset of the monsoons. North Goa has a majority of the beach shacks annually, numbers touching 300 along the coastal stretch.

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