Shacks shutting shop two months ahead of season



While domestic tourists have to a certain extent supported the dwindling tourism business, the decline in foreign visitors and delays in setting up beach shacks have led many operators to close their businesses two months before the official end of the tourism season.

Shack operators have claimed nearly 60 percent drop in business this season.

“The allotment was delayed by two months because the tourist season began in October and shacks were not demarcated till September at least. Some started their operations in November end while some began in December. There's a 60 percent loss in business,” President of the Shack Owners Welfare Society Cruz Cardozo said, speaking to The Goan.  

Some structures facing show cause notices for operating within no development zones while some seeking change in categorisation also hampered the business. 

A massive drop in international visitors added to the woes given that this section of tourists spends more time in shacks than Indians. 

Cardozo conceded that several shacks right from North to South have closed their business as the operators are unable to earn even for their purchases. 

The ongoing conflicts between Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas further disrupted arrivals, with many flights, including charters, being cancelled due to airspace closures over these regions.

"Russia is our primary market and because of the ongoing war, there are not many travellers. Moreover, domestic visitors are also avoiding travelling in view of Lok Sabha elections," Travel and Tourism Association of Goa President Jack Sukhija said. 

“Indian visitors have arrived in impressive numbers but do not spend time in shacks, unlike foreigners... Weddings and B2B meetings mostly comprised domestic visitors,” another TTAG member revealed.

The Tourism Department had revised its order increasing the total number of shacks from 254 to 259 on the northern coast, keeping in line with the beach carrying capacity report of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority. With this, the overall number of shacks allotted for the tourist season 2023- 26 is 364 – 259 in North Goa and 105 in South Goa. 

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