The tourism department had recently drafted rules after amending the Goa Registration of Tourist Trade Act, mandating that all tourist trades need to register with the department. Also, the fee structure for various trades have been rationalised.
“We have made the law and it will be implemented in a few days. The tourism department will start acting no sooner a report is received against hotels taking bookings illegally,” Ajgaonkar told TOI on Thursday.
Since the pandemic, registered hotels and accommodations are required to take permissions from the tourism department and agree to comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued it.
Ajgaonkar also said that although hotels have been clearly instructed about SOPs, problems arise with those accepting bookings illegally. “We don’t have records of hotels operating illegally and hence after the inquiry, action will be initiated against them,” he said.
Since June, over 1,000 hotels have obtained permission from the tourism department to operate. The department has also simplified the procedure for registrations of small accommodations that are rented out to tourists. A provision has also been made to issue them permission to operate pending inspection, provided the relevant documents are submitted.
A tourism stakeholder said the culprits are the small operators that have mushroomed in the coastal belt over the years and who rent their flats, villas and houses to tourists without permission.
“Some even rent their own houses while they stay in smaller houses. Mostly budget foreign tourists are their target as they choose to stay in Goa for longer. Now, even Indians visiting Goa for a month or two choose to stay in rented accommodation rather than at a hotel,” the stakeholder said, adding that the department will have to crack down on illegal operators rather than waiting for complaints to act upon.