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Tourism industry stakeholders reiterate demand for relief measures

Panaji: Local tourism industry stakeholders in a meeting with the government on Tuesday, reiterated their demand for immediate relief measures to survive the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

Members of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) during a meeting with Manohar Ajgaonkar, Minister for Tourism, said that, the industry is seeking waiver in statutory dues, fees and taxes for a period of one year.

“Suspension or deferment will not help in lightening the burden. All previous expired and existing licenses, NOCs, permissions, registrations of hotels, restaurants, shacks, spas in hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, tourist taxis should be automatically be deemed to be renewed without having to pay any fees for the next two years,” said TTAG in the memo submitted to the tourism minister.

The travel representative body said that, it is not seeking any funding from the government but requires relief measures by which stakeholders have the ease of business.

Post meeting, Nilesh Shah, president, TTAG, said that various pending issues facing the local industry were placed before the tourism minister.   He said that, members also appraised the government of the need to have advanced facilities for checking, testing and sterilization or sanitation of airports, railway stations and road entry points to prevent infected persons to enter the state.

“Goa is already faring better than other states in India. The tourism department, administration and bureaucracy are doing a commendable job of keeping the state safe,” said TTAG in the memo.

TTAG is recommended that, charter flights be allowed in the state without the need to seek permission under charter policy or having to comply with the charter policy.

It is learnt that, the tourism department is appointed consultants KPMG to conduct a survey of the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on the local hospitality industry. The report by KPMG is awaited and is likely to be submitted to the center, viz the tourism ministry.

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