The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has announced the grant fresh visas to oversea tourists visiting India via chartered flights starting October 15.
This announcement brought relief to the Goa tourism industry which has been struggling since the pandemic hit. Goa is expecting its first charter flight to land sometime in the first or second week of November.
The mood is quite upbeat in the industry. It’s a welcome decision by the government that will help the revival of the smaller hotels in Goa that depend on chartered flights for business. Goa gets an equal number of international guests by regular scheduled flights as well. Both combined together, we see a revival of the sector and the eco-system sooner than later,” – said Nilesh Shah, President of Travel & Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG).
He further said that the industry was ready to welcome tourists but due to the uncertainties on the dates on the part of the government, the marketing and promotions couldn’t start.
Shah thinks that the chartered flights can help revive the economic activity in the state. As of now, Goa is hoping business from Russian and the UK.
Welcoming the government’s decision, the Association of Small & Medium Hoteliers of Goa said that nearly 60 percent of the small and medium-range hotels in Goa have been shut since the pandemic. So the announcement comes as an encouragement to them.