Goa: Flu scare spoils I-Day weekend


Most cancellations though have come from student groups that had train bookings.
Many small guest houses here on the other hand, are also turning down bookings from Mumbai and Pune, as panic over the flu peaks. A guest house owner in Candolim, North Goa said she preferred to stay shut till October, rather than risk picking up the virus from a guest. I have given out only one room to my regular guests, but I’m worried, because they travel a lot, she said.

The owner of a boutique hotel in Arpora said two student groups, once each from Mumbai and Delhi, had cancelled their weekend bookings.

Both groups were to arrive by train. The Delhi group preferred to avoid the journey via Mumbai. Arrivals from Gujarat had been unaffected, he said.

We had cancellations from student groups from Chennai, but business will be down only 10 per cent over the weekend, said Prakash Fernandes who runs a mid-level hotel on the coast. This is the off-season for Goa’s tourism, and 40 per cent of hotels and restaurants on the coast are shut.

Those that are open are banking on 80 per cent occupancy for the long weekend, despite the scare.

The picture will be clearer in a day or two, but there are reports that a lot of people wanting to get out of Maharashtra would prefer to travel to Goa for the weekend, said director of tourism Swapnil Naik. On Wednesday, Goa set up screening points at the border for people travelling in by road.

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