Goa to face loss of Rs 500 cr if visa restriction to UK not relaxed: GFP

Panaji, Oct 12 (IANS): Claiming that the coastal state will face loss of Rs 500 crore if tourists from United Kingdom don't visit, Goa Forward Party (GFP) President and MLA Vijai Sardesai has appealed to the BJP government to relax visa conditions.

Sardesai, though in opposition, said that he is ready to fight together for the cause and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the issue.

"I want to appeal to Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lift the visa restrictions. We can come together and meet the PM over the issue," Sardesaid said.

"Goa is facing cancellation of 7 to 8 bookings per day in small and medium hotels, due to new visa restriction by the Ministry of External Affairs, where British tourists have to seek a visa from nine centres (Visa Processing) in England," he said.

"This (lifting restriction) is important because in Goa annually minimum 40,000 to 50,000 tourists arrive from the UK. As per statistics of pre pandemic period, each tourist spends around Rs 98000, which means around Rs 500 crore turnover takes place from this area," Sardesai said.

According to Sardesai, the state exchequer gets 10 per GST from the total turnover, which amounts to Rs 50 crore. "Government will lose it if visa restrictions are not relaxed," he pointed out.

He said that earlier 35 to 40 per cent tourists from Russia used to arrive in Goa. But now due to Russia and Ukraine war these tourists will not come in the coastal state. "Hence now we need to fill this space from England," he said.

Earlier in August, Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte had said that providing e-visa is also important for the state to get the same flow of people, which the government is looking forward.

He had said that the government had decided to take up the issue of e-visa' to the United Kingdom with the Central government to help the tourism industry of the state.

Expressing concern about the low footfall of foreign tourists due to COVID and other issues, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) had also urged Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to convince the Central government to include UK for issuance of e-visas.




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Comment on this article

  • Clifford, Mangalore

    Wed, Oct 12 2022

    This is what is called Fekugiri. Talking about improving tourism which brings in massive foreign exchange and Indian high commission asks tourists to attend for personal interviews for which there is waiting time of 2 months. There are other good destinations in Asia and once the tourists go away elsewhere they won’t comeback.

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Title: Goa to face loss of Rs 500 cr if visa restriction to UK not relaxed: GFP

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