The Union Budget’s failure to provide the demands of the tourism industry in Goa left the whole industry deeply disappointed. While the pandemic is still on a steady rise, tourism industry in India saw a huge decline in the past few months due to various travel restrictions and lockdown measures. Especially to the state of Goa in which tourism was the main source of state revenue , this came as a deep shocker.
Bagging the title of “India’s favourite party destination”, Goa is undoubtedly the best place one can dream of, to have a perfect vacation. A normal tourism season in Goa would see large groups of tourists both locals and foreigners flocking to their favourite beaches in the coastal belt with seaside shacks and restaurants running in full capacity. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic , with the tourism industry gradually going downhill, the difference was striking as well was alarming because the economy of the state depended entirely on tourism.
Considering these facts the state government had high hopes about favourable allocations from the budget this year for the revival of the declining tourism industry. But to their utter shock, the Union Budget failed to provide the much needed financial assistance, the industry demanded for the state.
According to the experts in the industry, tourism does not provide revenue only to the state but also contribute to the India’s GDP in a higher percentage. Many had higher expectations for some relief to be given by the budget to this pandemic hit industry and spur domestic as well as international tourism again. But their requests have been fruitless.
While the Union Budget failed to provide their expectations, an amount of Rs. 330 crore was granted to the state to commemorate the 60th Liberation Year celebrations. Now the stakeholders have come up with a suggestion to utilize 50% of this grant for the development of the tourism sector.
Also the state government has requested a special financial package from the Centre for the revival of the industry. While the Chief Minister, Dr. Pramod Sawant is confident that they will receive the requested financial support from the Centre, the state government intend to promote hinterland tourism in Goa with that assistance.
With the closing of mining, Goa was dependent solely on tourism, but the pandemic made disturbing challenges for the industry to survive on. While the country seemed to lift certain restrictions and lockdowns , a ray of hope was seen in the tourism field in Goa.
This was further seen when tourists began to arrive in Goa for Christmas and New Year celebrations last year. A large number of tourists were seen in coastal sides enjoying their getaways. Even during the Republic Day holiday a large number of tourists were seen entering the state.
In addition to these the recent edition of the annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which attracted many locals as well as foreigners to the state was successful in giving out the message that Goa is now all set for the revival of the lost charms of travel and tourism.