Hospitality sector pins hope on 'Goan' tourism minister

PANAJI: Welcoming the appointment of Goa MP Shripad Naik as the new Union tourism minister, Hotel and Restaurants Association of Western India (HRAWI) members said the Union government can consider revision in the current tax structure, diesel subsidies for power generation and incentives for investing in waste management and recycling of waste.

Charles Bonifacio, chairman, Goa sub-committee, HRAWI, in a statement said that tourism in Goa is facing challenges from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore and other destinations. Many nations offer incentives in the form of lower taxation and lower interest rates to boost tourism and India's tourism could use such help to compete. "Currently, an entry visa for India from the UK is one of the most expensive in the world and is restricting tourism revenue from UK which is our bane. The government should rectify this at the earliest," said Bonifacio.

"Some of the other problems include restrictions on flying in and out of Goa. If you fly to Goa on a charter flight, you can't fly home on a direct schedule service, it has to go via Delhi or Mumbai. Also, if you fly to Goa on a charter flight then you can't fly home on another carrier's charter flight. This policy is arbitrary and is a hassle for tourists who come here to unwind and relax," said Bonifacio.

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