Demand for resumption of chartered flights to Goa to be taken up with Centre: Pramod Sawant

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Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said his government will put forth before the Centre the demand of industry bodies here to resume international chartered flights to the coastal state from October this year.

The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) submitted a memorandum to the CM on Tuesday, seeking the resumption of chartered flights to provide a boost to the tourism sector, which is reeling under the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent curbs.

While domestic tourists can visit Goa with COVID-19 negative report or fully vaccinated certificate, international travellers are not being allowed in the state since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 when a nationwide lockdown was imposed and flights from overseas were suspended.

The issue of resumption of chartered flights is not within the purview of the state government. It is the decision which needs to be taken by the Centre, Sawant told reporters on Tuesday evening while referring to the memorandum.

The state government will place the demand of the tourism industry before the central government, he said.

Sawant said the industry bodies want that the central government make an announcement now, as two months are required to market the destination Goa and other preparations for tour operators.

The GCCI and TTAG on Tuesday demanded that chartered flights from ‘safe destinations’, which have allowed Indians to travel to their countries on tourist visas and from where international flights are operating, be allowed to arrive in Goa.

The industry bodies said chartered flights carrying tourists from countries like Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan can be allowed to land in Goa from October when the tourism season starts in the state.

Meanwhile, the Sawant also said his government was keeping a close watch on the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Goa currently has a COVID-19 positivity rate of two per cent.

On Tuesday, Goa reported 115 new COVID-19 cases, raising the tally of infections to 1,72,683, while one death took the toll to 3,177, according to the state health department.

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