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Goa govt launches crackdown on 301 hotels for not registering with tourism department

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The Goa government has started disconnecting water and electricity supply to 301 hotels that are not registered with the state tourism department, a state minister informed the legislative assembly on Friday.

State Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said 188 and 113 hotels in North and South Goa respectively had not registered with the department despite being sent repeated notices.

The tourism department has started disconnecting the water and electricity supply to these hotels as a penalty for not adhering to the notices, he said, while responding to a question tabled by AAP MLA Cruz Silva.

Apart from hotels, online travel agents (OTAs) have also been issued notices for not registering with the department, Khaunte said.

Five OTAs have registered with the department, while the rest have not, he said, adding that action will be taken against unregistered OTAs and hotels that are empanelled with them.

During the Question Hour, AAP MLA Cruz Silva asked why the tourism department had not implemented the report prepared by consultant firm KPMG, which claimed that 59 per cent of hotels in the coastal state are unregistered.

To this, Khaunte said the KPMG report was considered as a referral by the department and it has already started working in that direction in the last one and half years.

The department has started cracking down on the illegalities and has undertaken measures for ease of doing business, he said.

An online platform was introduced for hotels to register with the tourism department and the number of documents required for the registration was reduced drastically, the minister said.

“Since the procedure was simplified, the number of renewals of the hotels has increased by 146 per cent and new registrations by 1077 per cent,” he said and cited that the department collected Rs 82 lakh by way of registration fees in the last one year.

Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai questioned the loss of business as estimated in the KPMG report.

The loss cannot be estimated, but the department has now introduced TIME software at hotels, which provides data about the inflow of tourists, time spent by them in Goa and their nationalities, Khaunte said.

The tourism department has issued notice to KPMG to provide the supporting data, which was used to come out with the report on tourism in Goa.

Source: PTI