Goa plans to make registration of hotels mandatory

With an objective to curtail the mushrooming illegal hotels, the Goa government is planning to make registration of hotels with the tourism department mandatory.

It was announced by Goa tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar  after chairing a meeting of tourism industry stakeholders  at the secretariat.

“Whether big or small, all hotels will have to get registered with the tourism department or face legal action. We will impose a fine for non-registration and can even file court case,” said the tourism minister.

The minister also noted that compulsory registration would also help the tourism department correctly ascertain the number of tourist arrivals.

The meeting was aimed at discussing the reasons for the decline in tourist arrivals in the ongoing season and ways to solve the problems faced by industry.

While answering a request for lowering the visa-on-arrival fee, he said that it could only be done by the Union Ministry. However, he assured the stakeholders that the government would look at the possibility of giving a rebate to tourists visiting the state.

Photo for representative purpose only

Ajgaonkar said the meeting was fruitful and assured the participants that future tourism promotion and road-shows of the GTDC would be inclusive and the government would allow stakeholders to have a say in the marketing policy.

Attended by representatives of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), Small and Medium Hotels Association (SMHA), general managers of hotels and other trade members, the meeting took up issues such as the marketing and promotion measures as well as issues like the beggar menace, garbage, high GST, steep taxi charges and poor infrastructure.

While speaking on the occasion TTAG president Savio Messias said the ban on drinking in public places needs to be implemented through signage, enforcement and deterrent measures, adding that regulating online players would be tough as they are international companies.

Photo for representative purpose only

Serrafino Cotta, President of SMHA said the government listened to the demands of stakeholders patiently but members are attentive as to whether their issues will be resolved.

The issue of illegal hotels was highlighted by the SMHA recently which said the illegal hotels are on par with genuine players in terms of room capacity and accounts for 50 per cent of the accommodation in the state.