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Maharashtra Should Have Exempted Goa, Since It Has Very Few Cases, Says TTAG

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Maharashtra Should Have Exempted Goa
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While most of the states of India going through the second and third waves of Covid, Goa has the lowest numbers of Covid positive cases in the state, and Maharashtra applying the stringent SOPs for the people of Goa is not justified, feels the tourism body of Goa TTAG. 

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) is of the opinion that Goa should be excluded from the stringent SOPs set down by Maharashtra Government since the state has only a few cases compared to the other states in the country. 

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has said that the Maharashtra government rule is a ploy to discourage tourists from visiting Goa, and to make them limit their travel plans. 

According to the reports, Tourism stakeholders in Goa say that the Maharashtra government decided to mandate Covid-negative certificates from those entering from Goa could have an impact on the state’s tourist industry, especially as it’s just about gaining a foothold after a six-month sabbatical.   

“It is not easy to digest that the Maharashtra government thinks travelers from Goa will carry infection from here when ours is the safest destination,” said TTAG president Nilesh Shah. “It looks like a political move rather than a decision made keeping in mind the safety aspect.” 

Meanwhile, the tourists from all over the country keep flocking to Goa without any restrictions whatsoever since our health Minister and CM feels that the situation is under control. 

The new strategy of the Maharashtra government has affected many hoteliers in Goa since people now do not want to travel to Goa from Maharashtra since while going back they will have to deal with the stringent SOPs of Maharashtra. 

The TTAG president Nilesh Shah also feels that, by restricting tourists from Goa, the Maharashtra government probably thinks that they (tourists) can be diverted to the Konkan region and other parts of their state. Recently, Maharashtra has permitted the setting up of shacks. It will, however, not work, Shah said, since the Konkan is no match for Goa. 

According to the General Manager of Zuri White Sands Resort and Casino soon after Maharashtra issued new SOPs their report received calls from the tourists from Maharashtra deferring their Goa plans by a few weeks.

In Goa, most private Covid-19 RT-PCR tests cost around Rs 4,500 each, and results are delivered in around 48 hours. Considering the high cost of the RT-PCR test, D’Souza said tourists will change their holiday plans for Goa. “I hope better sense prevails and the Maharashtra government drops Goa from its list,” he said.  

“It is not just tourists who are affected, but also other travelers who visit the state for business will have to incur added expenses,” he said. “A lot of businesses have their headquarters in Mumbai, and their executives often fly to Goa, and people from Goa, too, visit Mumbai. Every visit means they will now have to go with a Covid-negative certificate or get the test done upon landing at the airport by spending a few hours in a queue.” 

Meanwhile, the director of First Class Holidays Atish Fernandes said that the impact will be seen more among the lower (spending) tourists. “It will not have any impact on elite tourists driving down along with their cooks and other staff, and who rent villas and bungalows for their stay,” he said. “But a family of four or more will likely alter or postpone its travel plan to Goa, as they would have to shell out quite a large amount on RT-PCR tests.”

Source: TOI 

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