The decision to reopen hotels was announced on Wednesday, but 48 hours later there seems to be no magic wand to heal the scars that the raging pandemic has left on Goa’s tourism industry.
While 250 hotels had got the nod to open from July 2, only 148 received the SOP from the tourism department till Thursday night. A few star-rated properties have opened their doors with added safety measures, but many smaller properties are still struggling with logistics. It is to be seen how many hotels manage to open in the coming weeks.
Luxury properties are expecting high-end patrons looking to escape from the pandemic raging in the metros. “Our loyal clientele from the cities who want to spend more time here have started enquiring,” says Sridhar Nair, GM of The Leela Goa. According to Vincent Ramos, area director of IHCL, Goa “MDs and CEOs of companies and other high-profile guests want to come to Goa and work from a spacious hotel room, with a nice view. We’ve already started getting bookings for the next few months.”
Hotels are trying their best to keep contact to a minimum. Vaibhav Mathur, from Mulberry Suites in Anjuna and Mulberry Mint in Calagute, says, “We have sanitisers, masks and gloves and our security will have an infra red thermometer. We have doctors on call, apart from an isolation room and luggage disinfecting facilities. All our staff will follow established safety protocols.”
At IHCL properties, all check-ins, payments and room service are contactless. “People on the frontline will be clad in PPE. We have sanitisers, masks, fumigation of luggage before it enters the hotel apart from regular disinfecting all around. Suites and rooms are rested after check-out, before reoccupation,” says Vincent. The safety precautions are similar at Planet Hollywood. “There are PPE kits and masks for employees, sanitisation tunnel at guest and team entry points, hundreds of pedal-operated sanitisation points. All goods and materials are brought in after sanitisation,” says GM Anand Chatterjee.