Tourism stakeholders want international flight connectivity improved

NT NETWORK

Panaji

The Goan tourism
industry stakeholders are seeking government support in improving international
flight connectivity to the state.

According to the
stakeholders, arrivals of foreign tourists in the ongoing season are being hit
by insufficient landing slots to foreign airlines at the Goa International
Airport, Dabolim.

The problem of
inadequate slots to foreign airlines is faced in the international charter
segment where airlines are willing to bring in tourists but are unable to
operate because of lack of landing slots at the airport, said the stakeholders.

“Since the Dabolim
terminal is a naval airport, the state government must negotiate with the Navy
and seek better landing facilities for foreign airlines,” suggested
stakeholders.

The Travel and Tourism
Association of Goa (TTAG), the representative body of the hospitality and
tourism industry raised the issue of inadequate international connectivity at
an industry- government meeting held discuss the tourism roadmap for the
future.

Earnest Dias, managing
committee member, TTAG, pointed out that, due to time restrictions at the
Dabolim airport by the Navy it is difficult and expensive for foreign airlines
to land in the state.

“It is necessary to ease
landing facilities for foreign charters at Dabolim by giving quick permissions
to land and removing the roadblocks,” said Dias.

Other issues raised by
the TTAG were further reduction in Goods and Service Tax (GST), rationalisation
of hike in excise duties on alcohol imposed in Goa Budget 2020-21, the taxi
problem, licence to operate for five years instead of the present annual
renewal of licences for hotels.

TTAG members said that
the state is losing out to neighbouring tourism destinations, which are
encouraging the international airlines
by lowering the landing rates and have lower taxation rate.

The industry body also
called for developing alternative avenues to attract footfalls such as
agro-tourism, hinterland tourism, etc.

The meeting was attended
by representative of leading hotels in the state, tour organisers and operators
of weddings and events and officials of the state tourism department.

The Chief Minister
Pramod Sawant made an appearance during the later half of the discussion while
the Tourism Minister Manohar (Babu) Ajgaonkar was absent for the meeting.

Stakeholders pointed out
that the state has primarily become a weekend holiday destination and high
airfares during weekends and holidays are discouraging to the foreign
arrivals.

The round-table meeting,
‘Goa Tourism Vision 2035: Shaping the path of progress’, was organised by the
Vibrant Goa Foundation.

Foreign tourist arrivals
in the ongoing season are estimated to have fallen by about 40 per cent
primarily due to the collapse of Thomas Cook, UK.

About 60 per cent of the
hotels in the northern belt are facing poor occupancy due to the crash in the
foreign charter market.

Further due to subdued
domestic footfalls hotels have started lowering the rates,
according to the stakeholders.
The post Tourism stakeholders want international flight connectivity improved appeared first on The Navhind Times.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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