Gains and losses Goa tourism faced in 2022

 Friday, December 30, 2022 


Goa mostly depends on tourism for revenue. Although, the new year season has arrived, the tourism stakeholders in the state are concerned with the threat of spread of new Covid infections.

Although, tourism started bouncing back this year after two hiatus years due to the Covid pandemic, the expected outcome could not be achieved due to the lack of clarity and decisiveness of putting the pressing transport issue in place even as the tourist taxi operators continue to hold the government at ransom.

The government has not been successful till now to get the defiant taxi operators to install free meters or embrace app-based services. This has created problems for the tourists who are left at the mercy of the marauding taxi operators.

The State government promised to inaugurate the Goa Taxi app on December 19 but failed to do so, pushing its launch date to the New Year even as the taxi operators refuse to fall in line.

“If tourism needs to be sustained the transport system will play a key role. Competition is the key. If they bring in competition automatically things will pan out properly. The government has also to understand that there has to be a way out even if the taxi operators don’t listen. They have to take a legal course and implement it with an iron hand,” Nilesh Shah, President of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa was quoted by a website as saying.

However, on the positive side, the government made a number of efforts to revive tourism which has bore results such as completion of a couple of major infrastructure projects, resumption of charter tourism and cracking down on illegalities, the website reported.

The two major infrastructure projects are the completion of the first phase of Mopa airport and one side of the eight-lane Zuari bridge. The international Mopa airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the second week of December 2022.

With charter tourism taking a dip in the past two years due to the Covid, the new season of 2022 brought some hope with Goa receiving charters from Russia, Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom (UK).

The government’s proactive effort to strike against illegalities by shack and water sports operators on the beach and action against hoteliers for failing to register with the tourism department, although in a very mild form, was a welcome step.

“It may be slow but at least they have started taking action against illegalities which is a good sign. I only hope it’s a continuous process and not one of,” Shah said.

While the number of foreign visitors is still nowhere close to pre-pandemic levels, travel company operators and hotel industry executives are relying to revive the sector with focus on domestic tourists.

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