Panaji: Port Minister Michael Lobo on Friday admitted that the tourism industry in the state has been on the decline as there have been no corrective steps from the government.
Speaking to media persons, he said that he will soon write to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar on the worsening situation in the tourism sector.
Calangute MLA Lobo observed that there has been no worthwhile business in the sector for the last three months as tourists are giving a miss to Goa.
Despite the state passing through the usual peak season, the hotel occupancy has gone down by 50 per cent as of Friday.
Some wrong moves made in the past have pushed the sector towards a slump in this international tourist destination. The government must take corrective steps to turn around the industry, he reckoned.
The minister, however, hoped that the hotel occupancy could see an uptick next week as EDM and other festivals have been scheduled to usher in the New Year.
He opined that festivals like Sunburn must be held twice to pull more tourists into the state.
The tourism department, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, the Tours and Travels Association of Goa and other stakeholders should hold meetings every fortnight to understand and assess the issues, Lobo felt.
“If such regular interactions take place then a solution could emerge to various issues plaguing the tourism industry,” he hoped. The BJP MLA also said that it is the duty of village panchayats and the tourism department to crack down on illegal businesses including those structures which are rented out as accommodations without registering them with the government.
“Many people are just renting out their houses and villas to tourists without registering the structures with the department. This results in revenue loss to the government,” he said, adding that Parra village panchayat has issued notices to 15 such people who have rented out their villas illegally.