Goa’s small, medium hoteliers claim loss of 80% business

Panaji, Jan 8 (IANS): The Small and Medium Hoteliers Association (SMHA) of Goa has claimed that it has lost 80 per cent business this year on account of a major fall in tourist arrival in the state.

Speaking to IANS, SMHA president, Santosh Divkar, said that faulty policies of the government, failure to create ease of business and resolving visa issues has led to the sorry situation.

“There are many reasons for the drop in tourist footfall in Goa. Government policies are not fostering tourism activities. Foreign tourists are getting less time to stay here as that has been reduced by the ministry. Europeans used to come down here during December and January due to the freezing cold in their regions. They used to stay here for long periods. Now, even they complain of visa hurdles. The Central Government should see all these aspects and address them,” Divkar, an hotelier from North Goa, said.

He said that compared to other tourist states, Goa has become expensive. “Flights tickets are very costly, making it difficult to come down to Goa. The price of air tickets should be controlled. It is cheaper to travel to Thailand or Sri Lanka than to Goa,” he said.

He added that there should also be some control on music and rules should be stringent.

“I am not saying stop the music. But it should be under control,” he said.

“Traffic police are harassing tourists travelling in the state. It sends a bad message,” he said.

Earlier, MLAs from the coastal state had also complained that the police harass the tourists visiting Goa.

Dixon Vaz, hotelier from South Goa, also said that there is a drop in tourist footfall.

“The government should promote tourism by offering free visas and the hassle-free facility of visa on arrival. There should also be control on flight fares. Our industry is suffering because of all these issues,” Vaz said.

He said that the dance bar culture and late night parties have sent a bad signal, which needs to be controlled.

“There are many factors which have affected tourism. The government needs to work on it,” Vaz said.



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Title: Goa’s small, medium hoteliers claim loss of 80% business

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