Published on : Thursday, November 19, 2020
In normal times, this time of the year marks the peak tourist season in Goa with beach shacks teeming with both foreign and domestic tourists.
However, in these times of the pandemic, tourism sector in Goa, like elsewhere has been affected significantly by the virus.
And it is most obviously visible on the beaches where less than half of the shacks are functioning as of now. Last month, Goa government started the process of demarcation of beach shacks along the North Goa coast.
Devoid of foreign tourists, only 40% of the 350-odd beach shacks allotted by the tourist department have resumed business until now.
This is definitely a setback for the shack owners. Others in the industry are hopeful about increase of domestic visitors during and after the Diwali holidays.
“Less than average footfalls comprising mostly domestic tourists are not adequate to sustain all operators,” said the President of the Shack Owners’ Welfare Society (SOWS) Cruz Cardozo.
“There is no business during weekdays and though Indian tourists are seen on weekends, it is not sufficient to keep operating cost under control.
Therefore, only operators having their own premises have opened so far, while those renting spaces have decided to give it a miss this season,” said the President of the all-Goa Private Hut/Shack Owners’ Association Dharmesh Saglani.
Nevertheless, the government is trying to assist the shack owners, by reducing the license fee for shacks by 50% and allowing operators an extension till December 31 for setting up shacks.