Published on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Before the world-renowned Christmas-New Year celebrations in Goa, the tourism sector in the state is keeping a tab on the possible impact of a new coronavirus variant that was detected in Southern Africa recently and one which the World Health Organization has christened ‘Omicron’ and labeled a ‘Variant of Concern.’
The stakeholders said that chartered flights and international services bring in foreign tourists by the middle of December. The tourism sector is expecting another fruitful season after a robust one during Diwali as the coastal state became the favored destination for domestic travelers with the declining of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are waiting and watching. Till now, at least, there is no impact [of Omicron] but we will have to wait and watch all the developments over the next 15 days. If cases go up, then protocols will have to be adhered to even more strictly,”said Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Nilesh Shah.
Shah said that lack of precaution is the primary reason why cases went up in the past, although India is better equipped to combat an outbreak now with around 70 per cent of the eligible population having taken at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Shah said, “The process of issuing visas has started. The severe Covid-19 wave in Russia is cooling off, the cases in UK are coming down. The Union government has allowed international flights from December 15, and many tourists come here on scheduled flights.”
He added that Goa is a safe destination with 100 per cent of the eligible population having received at least one dose of the vaccine.