PANJIM: The lockdown owing to the novel Coronavirus pandemic is likely to hit the tourism industry to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore and around 60,000 to 75,000 people are expected to lose their jobs.
In the wake of various activities coming to a standstill, the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) held an emergency meeting on Thursday where they deliberated on the issue in order to contain the spread of the virus from stage 2 to stage 3. Despite expecting a huge loss, the TTAG has extended support to the government over every measure being taken to ensure safety of the people. It has also suggested cancelling the upcoming Zilla Panchayat (ZP) elections.
"The Covid-19 virus will cost the state Tourism Industry approximately Rs1, 000 crore in losses. This will result in severe job losses to about 60,000-75,000 people unless remedial measures are taken," said the managing committee of TTAG in a press statement issued on Thursday evening.
TTAG also took into consideration the views of the society trade and given that India has a huge population and inadequate testing facilities, and stated that the only way forward is ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-imposed lockdown’ of the State.
In order to achieve these, TTAG advised the government on behalf of the tourism and hospitality trade sector, that all precautions to contain the virus and to ensure no spread of coronavirus in the State should be undertaken.
TTAG further stated that if the government thinks that it is best to lock down its borders by shutting down the inter-state borders and airports temporarily, the Association will support the government in this decision after giving guests in Goa adequate time to leave the State.
"We suggest in this event, essential services including food supplies should be maintained and emergency cases should be allowed to travel. We need to reduce contact between the staff and the guest to the minimum at least for two weeks," the TTAG further said.
The other set of suggestions also includes cancellation of all events, marriages, functions immediately for upto April 15 while also advising the Goans and politicians in particular to stop having social interaction and avoid travelling abroad, as this puts their own health and that of the other people in Goa.
The Managing Committee has also appealed that religious heads be made aware of the negative effects of huge religious gatherings. They recommended that local feasts, zatras or any other festivals should be cancelled.