Ruling politicians in Goa, including Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, on Tuesday expressed concern over the closure of British travel firm Thomas Cook, saying the development would impact international tourist footfalls in the coastal state in the forthcoming tourism season.
“When such a tourism company shuts down, there will definitely be some effect on the state,” Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat here.
In 2018, Thomas Cook charter flights ferried 2,000 tourists every week from the UK to Goa during the extended tourist season stretching from October to April.
For the upcoming season this year, 17,500 British travellers had already booked passage to Goa with Thomas Cook, which now stands cancelled with the collapse of the British travel giant.
Speaking to mediapersons at the State Secretariat, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that the shutting down of Thomas Cook would impact tourist arrivals, but added that his ministry was in conversation with other international package tourism companies to fill in the shortfall.
“Thomas Cook was working well as they were getting a good number of tourists to Goa. Its sudden closure will affect us. But we are trying to fill up the vacuum caused by the Thomas Cook closure by contacting other travel companies,” Ajgaonkar said.
Annually, Goa attracts nearly eight million tourists out of which more than half a million are foreign nationals.
After being in business since 1841, British travel giant Thomas Cook collapsed on Sunday, leaving 22,000 jobs at risk and 150,000 tourists stranded, after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the holiday firm failed, the BBC had reported earlier.-IANS news