Staying in non-registered hotels illegal: Goa Minister

Panaji, July 1 (IANS) Tourists will not be allowed to stay in non-registered hotels booked via app aggregator services, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said here on Wednesday.

Citing examples of Maharashtra and Hyderabad, Ajgaonkar said, Goa could not afford to lag behind vis-a-vis opening up the tourism sector, because the state's economic condition was bleak in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Bookings will only be allowed in hotels which are registered with the tourism department. Tourists who used to illegally stay in non-registered hotels (booked through app aggregators) or in unregistered guest houses, will not be allowed. It will be deemed illegal,” Ajgaonkar said, adding that nearly 250 hotels are registered with the state Tourism department for resumption of hospitality services.

The Minister also said that for a tourist to enter the state, he or she will have to carry a Covid-19 negative certificate within the stipulated 48-hour window, or get mandatorily tested in Goa.

“We will have a checking mechanism for examination of these certificates at entry points. If the tourists do not carry the certificate, they will be sent to the respective hotel which they have booked themselves into where they will be tested,” Ajgaonkar said.

“And once the test is negative, the tourist will be allowed to move out. Until then, the tourist will have to stay put in the hotel itself,” Ajgaonkar said.

The Minister also said that with major states like Maharashtra and cities like Hyderabad opening up, Goa could not afford to lag behind in the tourism sector.



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