International charter flights will be hitting the runways at the Dabolim international airport in Goa soon, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday. Speaking to reporters after a government function in North Goa district, Sawant also said that domestic and international tourists will be confident of travelling to Goa after the state is 100 per cent vaccinated by October 31. “We will get permission to start charter flights in a few days. We have sought permission,” he added.
The Goa government had earlier this month written to the Union Home Ministry seeking permission for resumption of international charter flights, the mainstay of foreign tourism in Goa, at the goading of travel and tourism industry stakeholders in the coastal state. “When we announce that we are a 100 per cent safe vaccinated state, then national and international tourists will come here,” Sawant mentioned. “We will complete 100 per cent vaccination by October 31,” Sawant also said, urging all eligible persons to take the second vaccine. According to Sawant, Goa has already completed “102 per cent coverage of the first vaccine dose”.
Goa is one of the leading beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country. Before the Covid pandemic almost ran the industry to ground, at its peak the state attracted nearly 8 million tourists according to government statistics.