As Goa closes its borders, last few holidaying tourists anxious to leave the state
Panaji, March 22 (IANS): Following the Goa government's decision to shut down its borders for incoming passengers and tourists, the few remaining tourists who were already in Goa are anxious to leave the state, especially by train, even as Maharashtra and Karnataka also put travel curbs on their road borders.
Ramesh Narayan, a tourist from Mumbai's Borivali suburb, who was holidaying in Goa for two days, said he was forced to travel by train to Mumbai, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Janata curfew' on Sunday.
"I had planned my vacation till Sunday, but because there is no likelihood of any transport facility tomorrow, I decided to take any means possible to reach back home," Narayan told reporters on Saturday.
Goa's famous beaches were also relatively empty in view of the corona measures.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant also urged tourists not to visit Goa till March 31, in the hope that the coronavirus pandemic would be reined in by then.
"I appeal to tourists to not come to Goa in these times. Anyway, most public spaces, including restaurants may not be open. It is important that you stay home until March 31," Sawant told reporters on Saturday, adding that his office would review the precautionary measures on March 31.
According to the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cost the state tourism industry approximately INR 1,000 crore in losses along with 60,000 to 70,000 job cuts.
Meanwhile, the Goa Hotel and Restaurants Association as well a retail liquor traders association, has urged its members to maintain a complete shutdown of their establishments on Sunday in view of 'Janata curfew'.