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Thomas Cook collapse gives Goa tourism operators sleepless nights

Around 50 high-end hotels in Goa were always booked to charter to Thomas Cook, which flew down an average of 270 European travellers each day, with bookings done for a minimum week and extending to 21 days.

Thomas Cook, Thomas Cook collapse, pramod sawant, goa tourism, india news, indian express Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

With the fall of global tourism travel major Thomas Cook, stakeholders in the travel and tourism industry in Goa have requested Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to lobby with the Centre to expand the scope of bilateral agreements under civil aviation and help facilitate international tourist footfalls.

Around 50 high-end hotels in the state were always booked to charter to Thomas Cook, which flew down an average of 270 European travellers each day, with bookings done for a minimum week and extending to 21 days.

The travel and tourism industry stakeholders have pegged the loss in revenue at Rs 100 crore if a serious remedy is not arrived at soon.

Explained

Why industry feels need for global tourists

Tourism industry stakeholders say European charters involve engagements with hotels, restaurants, shacks, week-long taxi bookings, excursion operators, cruise vessels, bulk bookings of jeeps at waterfall sights, and dental clinic bookings. They say while the domestic tourist footfall in Goa has been on an increase, bulk bookings do not extend more than a long weekend, with travel usually limited to rented two-wheelers.

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“We are looking at a situation where Europeans have got their visa, but there are fewer flying options as the rest of the airlines are connect flights which are not carrying full capacity… At least for five months we are pleading that some arrangement needs to be done so that tourists’ footfall increases,” said Savio Messias, the president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, the parent body which is now negotiating with the government on behalf of the sector.

“Flight fares have gone up in other airlines, with the knowledge that the Thomas Cook’s customers will look for options. There are hotel chains and labels who plan their entire budgets based on bookings from this charter. These people stand to lose huge amounts if their rooms are not occupied,” Messias said.

“We also now have an added problem of another charter, which comes from Europe, losing its traditional parking spot at the Dabolim airport, which will further mean a loss of 250 seats a week. These are difficult calculations and need to be resolved soon as we have the tourist season by November,” he added.

First published on: 06-10-2019 at 04:08:08 am
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