Goa Tourism fee sparks outrage among hoteliers

Hoteliers in Goa are all set to oppose the draft of the Goa Tourism Promotion Management & Regulation Bill, 2024 especially at a time when tourist arrivals are crossing one crore footfalls this year. The introduction of the bill was conducted on June 13. The bill aims to improve the competitiveness in the tourism sector in the state of Goa, by amending the laws that are applicable to the respective sector. July 6th is the last day to propose any suggestions towards the draft.

A hotelier said that the amendments that the bill aims to introduce are not favourable to the tourism sector in Goa and the inconsistency of the proposals will lead to obstacles in the conduct of their business. Several other hoteliers and event management companies are in agreeance with this perspective and are against it despite it being a major bill.

The bill repeals the Act 2001, The Goa Tourist Places (Protection and Maintenance) and Act 1982, The Goa Registration of Tourist Trade Act. It will lead to a sustainability fee of two percent being imposed on enterprises. The revenue generated will be credited to the Goa Tourism Development Fund and will be exercised on the invoice value generated by business in the tourism sector. It will be added to the currently paid duties, taxes and cess by tourism based businesses.

Hoteliers oppose this bill as in their opinion they are already paying the Goods and Service tax (GST) to the government and the fee that the bill proposes is unreasonable. Their criticism stems from the fact that the tourism sector in Goa is one of the largest contributor to the state coffers and hence any additional fee would be burdensome.

The bill also entails that any gathering or event consisting of even less than 25 attendees will require permissions provided by the government. Stake holders argued that the requirement of ‘permissions’ must be imposed only  on events that are commercially targeted on tourist. They also pointed out the fact that this would lead to inconveniences for local residents to host gatherings and year-end parties.

According to hoteliers they oppose another consideration proposed by the draft, that requires all the businesses in the tourism sector to re- register themselves. They argued that rather than a re-registration the government can feed in the registrations of the currently existing and previously registered enterprises on the new portal.

The draft also enlist the tourism board, the power to prevent or prohibit the new registrations or licenses of enterprises based on the capacity assessment report of an area.


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