‘Opening of Goa borders likely to boost tourist traffic by year-end’

Panaji, Sep 1 (IANS) With Goa opening up its borders, the state is likely to witness a sizeable tourist inflow by this year-end, said Goa Hotel Owners Association president Gaurish Dhond on Tuesday.

Dhond said that the decision of the state government to implement the Centre's guidelines for Unlock 4.0 and open bars in the state with proper safe distancing norms, would also help boost the liquor industry in the state as well as add an incentive for tourists visiting Goa.

“When borders are opened more and more people come in. By November and December we hope to have sizeable tourism business. Coronavirus is here to stay. We cannot get rid of it immediately,” Dhond said on a day when the state government opened road borders, doing away with the practice of carrying travel permits for inter-state transit of travellers.

Goa Airport too on Tuesday announced that in sync with the MHA guidelines for Unlock 4.0, passengers flying into Goa would not need to carry Covid-19 negative certificates and the practice of conducting Covid-19 tests at the airport was being done away with.

Dhond said that the opening up of bars in Goa was a good sign for the hospitality industry business.

“It's a good decision by the government of Goa to open bars. Most of us in Goa have a drink before we eat dinner. We in the business are happy that bars are opened,” Dhond said, adding that restaurants in the state were already allowed to open with the observance of social distancing norms and following other guidelines issued by the MHA.

Goa is regarded as one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country. Last year more than seven million tourists visited the state, but the Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the flow of tourists into the state this year.



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