Goa Tourism Launched - “Coping with COVID-19 : Survival and Revival of Goa’s Tourism Industry"

Goa Tourism Launched - “Coping with COVID-19 : Survival and Revival of Goa’s Tourism Industry

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Pramod Sawant along with Dy. CM, Chairman GTDC, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Finance), Secretary (Tourism), Director (Tourism) and Managing Director (GTDC) launched the report “Coping with COVID-19 : Survival and Revival of Goa’s Tourism Industry”, prepared by Goa tourism and assisted by Research and Analysis unit of GTDC, KPMG Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd.

The worldwide lockdown imposed due to the pandemic has severely impacted the travel & tourism industry. The report reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry in Goa and offers recommendations to allow tourism stakeholders to survive, revive and thrive. Recommendations were drafted with the objective not only to revive the tourism industry from the crisis but also to strengthen the sector by eliminating pre-COVID issues in Goa. As per the report, the direct contribution by tourism industry is estimated to be 16.43% of the nominal state GDP and approx. 35% of state’s population are involved in direct jobs in tourism sector.

To estimate the impact of the ongoing crisis, GTDC’s Research and Analysis Unit undertook a quantitative survey among tourism industry stakeholders from 10th April 2020 to 25th May 2020. To understand the challenges and concerns of the diverse actors involved in tourism, qualitative interviews were also conducted with various heads of industry associations, government departments and financial institutions. This survey was really a ground-breaking initiative as, for the first time, it covered the tourism industry in a very comprehensive manner, from Upscale Star hotels to Guest houses, from shacks to taxi drivers, independent guides, freelancers etc. It was also made sure to consider informal/unregistered activities.

The impact of the pandemic on Goa tourism has been estimated on the basis of the survey which includes more than 600 responses from various tourism industry stakeholders. The report estimated that the loss to the industry was expected to be INR 2,000 Crore to INR 7,200 Crore and potential job losses of 35% to 58%. These statistics have helped significantly to plan ahead in our conscious effort towards mitigating the Challenges posed by COVID-19 and further transforming Goa as “Sustainable Tourism Capital of India”.

Basis the aforesaid study on tourism industry stakeholders, the Government was able to streamline the unregulated hotels/accommodations in the state and has enabled to develop a process to allow only registered hotel accommodations to commence the activities. The COVID-19 specific SOPs were developed as part of the report and implemented by the tourism department, enabling tourism industry stakeholders to recommence their respective business in safe manner. Protocols for incoming tourists to follow the safety procedures were also developed and circulated. These protocols were strictly implemented which enabled the state to do away with mandatory testing and quarantine. This also enabled Goa to become the first state to apply and receive “Safe Travels Stamp” from WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council). This has boosted confidence among the travelers visiting Goa.

With the need to save jobs, state preparedness and industry request, the state opened tourism in July 2020 making Goa the first state to re-start the tourism. Efforts put in for safe re-opening of the state for the tourists was appreciated by national & international organizations such as MOT and WTTC.