Goa Tourism Open for Business
250 hotels back in operation
After months of lockdown, Goa opened for domestic tourists from July 2, 2020. Over 250 hotels resumed operations in the state, Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said. These hotels were granted permission by the Goa Tourism Department with standard operating procedures put in place by the state government.
“We have decided to allow domestic travelers to enter Goa from July 2 onwards provided they comply with certain norms,” Ajgaonkar said.
The decision was made in a state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. The state, a large part of whose economy is driven by tourism, was closed for tourists since March 25 when the nation-wide COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown was imposed.
There are certain guidelines that tourists traveling to the state will have to follow:
– Tourists have to carry a COVID-19 negative certificate within a stipulated 48-hour window or get mandatorily tested in the state.
– Tourists will be sent to the respective hotel which they have booked themselves into where they will be tested. They will have to stay put in a hotel until they are tested and results are declared.
– People who test positive will be given the option of returning to their respective states or staying back in Goa for treatment.
– Tourists have to mandatorily pre-book their stay at hotels which have received the tourism department’s approval.
– Hotels and homestays that have not registered with the department to reopen business will not be allowed to entertain guests or offer online bookings.
– There will be a crackdown on hotels and guest houses which are not registered with the tourism department but are offering stay facilities via app-based room aggregators.
– Tourists who used to illegally stay in non-registered hotels booked through app aggregator services or in guesthouses will not be allowed. It will be deemed illegal.
In a related development, the state is also open now for video and film shoots, although movies may be still faraway. For several years now, Goa has been a favorite place for film shootings, and the present initiative can be seen in the same light.
Officials want an economy boost along with a tourism opening.