Goa tourism’s grim recovery plunges the economy

Published on : Wednesday, March 24, 2021

After a surprising entry of COVID-19 followed by an extensive lockdown, the tourism industry of Goa is progressively coming back to its normalcy but with a grim – revenue and job loss.

As per KPMG’s 155-page report titled “Coping with COVID-19: Survival and Revival of Goa’s Tourism Industry”, tourism witnessed an estimated loss of around Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 7,200 crore when lockdown was imposed.

Lockdown created massive job loss, which as per the report are almost 58 per cent. Between 73,602 and 1, 21,614 jobs were at risk due the virus related crisis, as per the survey, representing 35-58 percent of the total workforce of the tourism industry of Goa. The contribution of tourism is estimated to be 16 percent of the nominal State GDP with approx 35 percent population associated in direct jobs.

The questionnaire’s qualitative section disclosed the fact that tourism stakeholders were quite worried about their staff’s future and capacity to keep their employees. In the survey, given the absence of liquidity and depressing results of tourist footfall in the coming weeks/months, several owners of businesses were compelled to decrease their workforce and let go off their employees. Twenty three percent of respondent stakeholders declared that they supported cutting jobs and 33 percent said they might do so depending on how the situation would evolve.

To quote a prominent hotelier, “For a State that is predominantly dependent on the tourism industry for livelihood of its people, these statistics are alarming. It clearly brings out the need for Goa to create alternative sustainable livelihood sources of income for its people.”

“Strengthening infrastructure and connectivity is the key. Although Goa continues to be known as a tourist destination globally, it has evolved over the years, with local people taking up various non-tourism related professions. The consistent efforts of the government to encourage establishment of various industries throughout the state by creating adequate infrastructure has been instrumental in creating livelihood opportunities for the people of Goa,” he said.

Almost 24 industrial estates currently provide infrastructure facilities to different various pan-Goa and with the high literacy rate of 87.40 per cent of the state, it is all geared up for creating more livelihood opportunities in other sectors too.

The stakeholder further mentioned that enhancing existing, as well as, developing new infrastructure is crucial like double-tracking of railway lines, Tamnar transmission line and NH expansion for industrialization imporvement in the State. The three projects have been in controversy even as the Central and State governments have given a go-ahead.

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