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Good news for beach lovers! Hotels in Goa have reopened once again after the state recorded a significant dip in the number of COVID positive cases. The positivity rate in the state has fallen below five per cent, but the occupancy rate was pretty poor even after the government allowed entry to fully vaccinated business travellers without any negative report.
According to the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), hotel occupancy will go up only after the government’s clearance on whether or not tourists are welcome to the state.
TTAG president Nilesh Shah said, “Unless a positive message goes around, we will not see a steady flow of tourists. We may see some footfalls in August as there are a few public holidays, but there won’t be a heavy rush”.
Mr. Shah hopes that the number of tourists will pick up in August and that travellers will be allowed entry on the basis of their vaccination certificates. For those who are not vaccinated, a Covid-negative report could be made mandatory or such travellers can get tested on arrival.
Goa experienced a steady flow of tourists from October, and the growth was exponential in December-January. But in March, when the country was hit by the deadly second wave, the numbers of tourists began to fall significantly.
Mr. Shah further said that though the tourist season picked up in November-December last year, not all hotels were operational and that only some 1400 had resumed business. Additionally, in the last 10 years, the number of small hotels has increased in the state but with no international tourists, these properties have no takers.
Now, with COVID-19 cases going down, the hotel industry in Goa is keen that the government also allows international tourists by September-October.