To boost tourism, the Goa government urged to allow chartered flights from ‘safe’ places

Posted on March 4, 2021 by

Just before the Goa Assembly’s budget session, a tourism body has asked the government headed by Pramod Sawant, to give permission to the chartered flights bringing tourists from the safer destinations in order to boost tourism in the state.
On Tuesday, the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) said in a memorandum to the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant that various trade bodies have asked to form travel bubbles with countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, the UK, Poland and Finland in regard to commercial flights.
The budget session of the Goa Assembly will take place in between March 24 and April 16.
Last week, a senior official from the state legislature department has stated that the Chief Minister shall present the budget on March 24.
In the previous week, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has extended the ban on international commercial passenger flight services until March 31.
Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, the operation of the scheduled international flights were suspended from March 23, 2020.
Last year since May, in the midst of suspension, special international flights were operative under the Vande Bharat Mission and since July, flights under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with selective countries were under service.
The air bubble pact between countries allows special international flights to be operated by their airlines in between their territories.
In a memorandum, TTAG president, Nilesh Shah stated, “We have proposed that chartered flights be allowed to land in Goa from safe destinations and bubbles be formed”.
He further added that the state government is required to provide landing and airport fees waiver to foreign airlines and operators of chartered flights for a year starting from March 1, 2021.
Such an initiative shall facilitate the tourism industry of the state, according to TTAG in its memorandum.
There has been news that in Goa there has been 5,000 to 7,000 unregistered service apartments, guest houses and homestays that skip their taxes and a number of hotels, shacks, and cruises that are in service without a license.
The memorandum stated, “They need to be brought under the tax net to increase the state’s revenue so that law-abiding and legitimate businesses are not overburdened and there is a level-playing field”.