Goa tourism fails to bounce back in spite of steady rise in visitors

Published on : Saturday, November 28, 2020

Although the number of tourists visiting Goa is seeing a steady rise at the moment, especially since Diwali, the tourism industry of the state which has been hit badly by the COVID-19 outbreak, has failed to benefit from that due to several factors, said the stakeholders.

The pandemic has made many tourists from the neighboring states visit Goa and spend only a day and return home by evening instead of staying at hotels.

Moreover, tourists now prefer to bring home-cooked food instead of eating out at restaurants since the corona virus scare still looms large.

Several beaches in Goa, including Calangute, Candolim, Baga in North Goa district and Colva and Palolem in South Goa are popular among tourists. These beaches are witnessing a huge influx of tourists since Diwali vacations.

However, the industry stakeholders have said that the increase in footfalls has not benefited tourism in that way, although the months of November and December are normally considered as the peak season for Goa’s tourism.

“The tourists visiting Goa come in their own vehicles and carry home-cooked food to avoid eating out. They buy liquor from wholesale wine stores. Due to these factors, the beach shacks are still wearing a deserted look,” said Manuel Cardoso, the president of Traditional Shack Owners’ Association.

Shacks are temporary structures, serving as restaurants and bars with sunbeds on the sand. They are removed during monsoon, and are set up again during the tourist season.

“Majority of the tables at the shacks that are operating now are empty. Hardly a few people are found entering the shacks for meal or drink,” Cardoso said.

Cardoso said that the rush of tourists can be seen only at the prime beaches. “But if you walk a little away from the main areas, other beach belts are mostly deserted,” he said.

Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Nilesh Shah said, “Hotels are reporting low occupancy despite November being a peak tourist season for Goa’s tourism industry, which is considered the backbone of its economy.”

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