Omicron to impact international tourist footfalls to Goa: Michael Lobo

Before Omicron cases were reported in other parts of the world, Kazakhstan and Russia had shown interest in charter flights to Goa.
Omicron to impact international tourist footfalls to Goa: Michael Lobo
Port Minister and Calangute MLA Michael LoboGomantak Times

Port Minister and Calangute MLA Michael Lobo on Friday, December 3, said that the emergence of the new variant Covid-19 -"Omicron" will impact the international travellers' footfalls in Goa.

"We are hoping that this variant does not harm the people who have already taken vaccination. Looks like charter flights will be cancelled. Because charters were supposed to come at the end of this month and it looks like there will be cancellation because of the new variant. So international tourism may be affected in a very big way," Lobo said.

Lobo, who also runs a chain of tourism-related businesses in the state, said that Goa would have to adopt a 'wait and watch approach before deciding its next course of action in the tourism sector.

"There will be a slight effect in the initial stage, but we will have to wait and watch and see what is happening worldwide and also in India. Some cancellations have already started, but we are hoping that this variant does not spread," Lobo said.

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Before Omicron cases were reported in other parts of the world, Kazakhstan and Russia had shown interest in charter flights to Goa. The first chartered flight of the season is also supposed to arrive in Goa from the UK on December 13,

Before the pandemic, Goa used to receive around 1,000 chartered flights mostly from Russia, the UK and Germany during the tourist season,.

Nearly 900 charter flights mostly from Russia, the UK and Germany annually found their way to Goa before the Covid pandemic struck last year, closing down all international travel.

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