Goa’s tourism industry anxious after first flight cancellation


PANAJI: With the cancellation of the season’s first chartered flight bringing in foreign tourists, Goa’s tourism industry is apprehensive of a drop in business in the wake the recent terror attacks in Ahmedabad and Delhi.

The first chartered flight from Moscow, Minar, which was to land at Dabolim airport in Goa on September 27 marking the start of the October-March tourist season, has been cancelled, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa President Mr Ralf D’Souza said.

“That was the only chartered flight expected in this month. Rest will start coming from October,” he said, adding “even in October there are 14 landings expected but many of them are not confirmed.”

Mr D’Souza, who heads the apex association of tour operators and hoteliers in the state, said that there could be 10 to 15 per cent shortfall drop in such arrivals for the season.

Out of 800 slots booked at Dabolim airport this season, 500-odd are confirmed, he added. However, the state tourism department said they were not aware of any cancellation. “We expect the first chartered flight to arrive in September end. We have no info rmation about any cancellation,” said the Tourism Director Mr Elvis Gomes.

All the foreign tourists are insured and the insurance companies decide the premiums depending on the country of their travel, Mr D’Souza said, adding if tourists are not insured then the liability becomes that of tour operators.

“The insurance companies are waiting for the second advisory from the countries depending on which they will decide the premiums or may even not insure the visitors,” said Mr D’Souza.