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Why Goa hotels may be forced to cut rates

September 24, 2019 14:36 IST

The company operated chartered flights from London Gatwick and Manchester airports to Goa between November and March and its closure will adversely impact local tourism.

Hotels in Goa may be forced to slash rates and look for business within the country following the collapse of Thomas Cook Plc.

Thomas Cook Plc, which shut down operations on Monday, leaving hundreds of tourists stranded across Europe, was among the largest overseas tour operators selling sun and surf holidays in Goa during winter.

 

The company operated chartered flights from London Gatwick and Manchester airports to Goa between November and March and its closure will adversely impact local tourism.

“Thomas Cook Plc closure is a big hit for tourism in Goa,” said Aloo Gomes Pereira, chief operating officer (charters), Trail Blazer Tours India.

Russia and the UK are the key source markets for Goa and tourists from the two countries travel to the state on regular scheduled flights and on seasonal charters.

“Thomas Cook operated charter flights from London Gatwick and Manchester to Goa between November to April and last year flew in over 35,000 British tourists,” he said.

About half of them were package tourists.

“We were hopeful of attracting more tourists with reduction in e-visa fees and cut in GST rates.

"The closure of Thomas Cook UK is a setback for us. We are meeting state tourism department on Tuesday to discuss solutions to minimise the loss,” said Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Savio Messiah.

Pereira said that the government should now allow foreign airlines to operate higher capacity aircraft to Goa to ease travel woes of impacted tourists.

The development has also made local hoteliers anxious as the British tourists stay a minimum of seven nights in the state.

Package tours get booked months in advance and rooms have already been contracted.

“Hotels across the state will be impacted. I think there will be a price correction as there will be a flood of inventory in the market,” said Zafar Karmali, director of sales and marketing at Hyatt’s Alila Diwa resort in Goa.

Local hotels have been seeing a modest growth this year and will look to increase their domestic business and look to tap meetings and conferences segment to boost their occupancies.

Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai
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