Coronavirus has dented Goa's tourism prospects: Official

Panaji, Feb 14
The panic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak has affected Goa's tourism prospects, state Tourism Director Menino D'Souza said on Friday, with the rider, however, that he was currently unable to quantify the negative impact of the outbreak on tourism footfalls in the state.

"That (footfalls impacted), I cannot say offhand, but it has affected, there is no doubt about it," D'Souza told reporters on the sidelines of a tourism event in state capital.

The official also said that the Goa government was in the process of flying down Chinese travel and tour operators to the coastal state, with the objective of tapping China's outbound tourism market, but the viral outbreak has put paid to those plans for now.

"We recently had a proposal for bringing down tour operators from China. We had to cancel that because we did not want to take any risk," D'Souza said.

The official also said that coronavirus suspects were being carefully screened through a co-ordinated effort by the state tourism and health departments.

"Whatever advisories have been sent, whatever precautions have been taken we are taking," D'Souza said.

Goa is one of the leading beach and nightlife destinations in the country. Last year, the coastal state attracted more than seven million tourists.