Panaji, Aug 2 (IANS): The vaccination blitz carried out by the Goa government may have laid a good foundation for the resumption of the tourism industry in the coastal state, a top tourism trade official said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters here, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, Nilesh Shah also said that August, may witness a surge in tourists making a bee-line for Goa, due to the large number of holidays in the month.
"We have minimum cases now. Overall cases are around 1,000 which is a plus sign... 87 per cent of the population has already taken the first vaccine dose. Also, 20 per cent plus population has already taken the second dose. Goa Chief Minister (Pramod Sawant) has kept a target of 100 per cent vaccination of the eligible population as on July 31. We are near that," Shah said, adding that the industry is opening up in the state in a "very calibrated manner", even though bookings were low at the moment.
But the head of the state's top tourism and travel trade lobby also said that the tide could turn in August.
"Goa is very safe and the key word here is sustainable tourism. We are already open and it will gradually grow. In this coming month of August, a lot of holidays in different states are coming up. Things will start improving," he also said.
Shah also said that with the infection positivity rate dropping significantly in the state, Goa should ready itself to open up to tourism with "full open arms".
"I think this time throughout India more and more people are getting vaccinated. I think we will be (open) at the right time for people. Everybody is facing mental trauma, with family or friends being affected (by Covid). I think Goa is the right destination with all the safety and precautions, we are ready to welcome tourists into Goa," Shah said.