S Goa hoteliers cry foul over tourist bookings

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NT NETWORK

Margao

Stating that though they have put in place quarantine facilities and are receiving bookings from tourists, hoteliers in South Goa are alleging that the tourists are diverted to other hotels.

Suspecting a scam, the hoteliers have urged the government to investigate and have also sought financial relief for at least the next two years.

Around 20 hoteliers registered under the South Goa Hoteliers Association, while speaking to media persons in Margao, said that they were finding it difficult to run their businesses as even though tourists with pre-bookings arrive at the Dabolim airport, they are diverted to other hotels. 

Around 35 hotels in South Goa have received permission to accommodate tourists as they have adequate quarantine facilities in place. South Goa hoteliers alleged that upon arrival at the Dabolim airport, tourists are offered a choice to select from a list of around four to five hotels but it does not contain their names.

MD of Anthurium Group of Hotels Imran Sayed said, “Tourism and the hotel industry in Goa are on a ventilator. Quarantine permissions were given to some hotels which were done mainly to help stranded Goans who are returning back home to allow them to quarantine till their results are declared. We face a lot of difficulties because when the guests reach the airport, they would show the confirmation letter and the hotel’s permission to quarantine from the Collector but they are still forced to choose from a list of other four or five hotels,” said Sayed adding the state administration was involved in a fraud. 

GM Woodburn Hotel’s Shen Laurence said that it was because of this that hotels in the state were going into financial crisis adding, “Since this pandemic has started, it has become very difficult to maintain the resort and bear expenses like water, electricity, excise fee, staff fees and garbage collection fees. Even though we have registered to provide quarantine for people coming to the state, the guests don’t land in our resort because there is a game being played where they are asked to go to only certain hotels. Because of this we are getting into a bad financial situation. Once we go beyond a certain limit, we will have to shut down our unit.”

Hoteliers have appealed to the state government to investigate the issue as well as to provide financial subsidies and relief.