An enormous number of tourists visit the Indian state of Goa each year due to its popular beaches. The state government welcomed private investors to develop some of its finest assets in 2012, which had remained underutilised for years due to a lack of funding, in order to advance the tourism industry. The projects, however, are still non-starters as a result of numerous delays even five years after the agreements were signed.
Rohan Khaunte, the minister of tourism, has issued a warning that the government will review its decisions if the project investors fail to launch the projects within the next two to three months. Khaunte had anticipated that clearances would be granted in the same year that the agreements were signed, which was in 2016. The Goa Coastal Zone Management Plan has not been finalised, among other delays in obtaining clearances, has been a significant bottleneck.
Khaunte argued that there is no justification for the government to be indulgent in these situations, particularly given the pressing need for greater room inventory in Goa. Various tourism department land parcels, he continued, have remained locked even though the projects ought to have started by now.
Chief Secretary Puneet Goel presided over a meeting to address interdepartmental problems. “They were given a year to start projects, but if the status continues, we will look at the issue seriously,” the tourism minister stated.
The room inventory would have increased, there would be more people working, and the department would have made money if those projects had taken off and been finished by now. The accommodation inventory is under a great deal of pressure because of the opening of the Manohar International Airport. If hotel availability does not increase, the destination will suffer and the average room rate will continue to rise.
According to Khaunte, the government cannot set a ceiling on hotel rates, and Goa cannot afford to be perceived as an expensive vacation spot. These days, a weekend flight from Mumbai to Goa or Delhi to Goa costs at least Rs 20,000. A family of four will spend up to Rs 1 lakh on plane tickets alone. Travel and other expenses would cost between Rs 2.5 and 3 lakh for a four-day stay for a family of four, when added to the approximate Rs 1 lakh cost of a hotel stay for stays of up to three to four nights. They might begin investigating locations with better packages.
In order to create hotel projects, the state government has identified desirable areas in Miramar, Britona, and Anjuna by leasing the premises to bidders. The initiatives, however, have failed as a result of numerous delays. The Goa Coastal Zone Management Plan’s incompleteness has been a significant roadblock that has prolonged the process of obtaining numerous licenses.
According to Khaunte, the government would review the agreements if the project proponents failed to move the projects forward. There is no longer any waiting for them.