Global meltdown continues to hit tourism industry

Global meltdown continues to hit tourism industry

Panaji: Goa’s international tourism inflow is likely to dwindle further with global meltdown continuing to impact the industry even in 2009.

Experts feel that the international tourism will be 10 to 15% less compared to last year. The year 2008 saw average 20% less foreign tourists visiting this coastal state famed for its pristine beaches.

“The year 2009 will be very difficult for the tourism industry because of the economic situation prevailing worldover," Platon Loizou, Managing Director, Jewel in the Crown holidays UK, told PTI.

Loizou’s firm is the largest independent tour operators from UK planning holidays to Britons.

“Every happening indicates that UK’s economy is in very bad shape. Economy will be bad almost everywhere in the world affecting the number of travellers," he said.

Loizou said that the year 2008 saw partial impact as people had booked packages six to nine months in advance.

“This year, it will be bad because people will not prioritise the holiday on their spending list," he said.

The impact has already started showing up as Monark, one of the largest chartered flight carrier, cancelled its once a week Goa operations from 9 January onwards.

The operations will remain cancelled till April, this year, Loizou said.

Monark had a capacity to carry 370 passengers a week which amounts to cancellation of around 5,000 seats, he said.

“There are lots of Goans who live in England. They also are reluctant to plan their homeland visit as they think its not worth to leave their job and come here on a vacation," Loizou said.