Panaji: The hospitality industry in Goa should not focus on foreign tourists alone amid the coronavirus crisis, Goa's travel industry stakeholders told Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday.
In a memorandum submitted to Sawant, Sainath Krishna Dharwatkar, President of the Goa chapter of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), said that Goa should bank on domestic tourists by offering them value-for-money services to ride over the current dip faced by the tourism industry.
"Goa is one of the best tourist destinations in the country. However, there is an apprehension that this tourist season may not be the same as before," Dharwatkar said in his representation, which was submitted by the members of the association on Monday.
"Let us not just focus on foreign tourists alone. We as TAAI can bring in tourists from all over the country. However, we need competitive rates. Let us understand that today's tourists look for value for money and we have been the main catalyst between the tourists and the hotels," Dharwatkar said.
Goa is regarded as one of the leading beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country. Last year, the coastal state attracted more than seven million tourists, more than half a million of which were foreigners.
However, in the last couple of months, Goa has seen a dip in tourist arrivals as the recent coronavirus outbreak has triggered anxiety in the travel and tourism sector.
"We are going through difficult times and there is likelihood that the same may continue for a long period. The recent outbreak of coronavirus has had great impact on tourism globally," Dharwatkar said.