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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Tourism stakeholders welcomes Goa Forward letter to ECI, expresses concerns over fate of the industry

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Panaji: A day after Goa Forward Party wrote to the Election Commission of India expressing concerns over fate of tourism industry due to restriction in the wake of code of conduct, the tourism stakeholders have welcomed the move.

The stakeholders, who criticize Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar for not doing enough for the industry, said that the State government should have convinced Election Commission of India on the issue of tourism industry.

They also expect Goa Forward Party to follow up the issue.

Travel and Tourism Association of Goa President Savio Messiah said that the tourism is going to affect due to the restrictions.

“People are coming here to have good time, to party   but they are not getting the opportunity. Many hoteliers have told me that they are having cancellations,” he said.

Messiah recalled that the TTAG had taken up the issue with Chief Electoral Officer, almost a year back, but did not hear anything back from them.

“Now it is too late to take up the issue. Such kind of restrictions are not there in other countries, only we are having them,” he said adding that “time has come that we need to do something about it.”


“Goa government is not doing anything. We will have find the some way out may be through courts,” he said.

Tourism Minister seems to be least concern about our problems, he said.

Reacting to letter by Goa Forward Party, he said the party should follow it up. “I appreciate their decision. Let us hope that we get some relief,” he said.

Goa Forward Party Chief Vijai Sardesai in his letter to ECI on Friday had said “the tourism industry has suffered major loses on account of the restrictions imposed due to the Model Code of Conduct enforced in the State.”

“We believe that the industry is an apolitical entity and does not engage in inducements. Furthermore, imposing such restrictions on an industry which is already hit and which is the mainstay of the state economy will cause irreparable damage to the economy as a whole,” Sardesai had said.

He had further said “in view of the above, we suggest that certain relaxation be granted to the various establishments who have licences to operate beyond 11 pm. So also, religious activities, be exempted from these restrictions since they do not hinder the election process.”

The beach shack owners in the State are one of the stakeholders who are facing brunt of the restrictions.

“Tourism industry has been affected. There are certain people who arrive at the shack and sit with the drink till 11 p.m. They have now started staying indoors,” said Cruz Cardoso, President, Shack Owners’ Welfare Society.

He said that the footfalls in the shacks have been reduced tremendously due to which some of the shacks have already started dismantling their structure for the season.

Cardozo questioned the wisdom of restriction claiming that “Goan voters should not have been allowed to drink. Why are you banning foreigners?”

“They are supporting economy. They are not voters anyway,” he added.

Cardoso said that some of the British travelers are laughing at the system. “We are tourists why they are stopping us. They question this,” he said.

He said that the move by Goa Forward party to write to ECI is a good one and is genuine one. “They have put up this genuine issue before election commission and we should appreciate it,” he commented.

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