The Goa Small and Medium Hoteliers Association of Goa has said that unchecked online room aggregator services, mushrooming illegal guest houses and wholesale liquor shops doing unchecked retail business were the bane of Goa’s tourism. At a press conference here on Monday, president of the association, Serafino Cotta, demanded that the Goa Tourism Trade Act be amended to check and regulate most of these ills. He also blamed lopsided regulation and a unresponsive State Tourism Ministry being busy selling “refrigerators to Eskimos”.The medium and small hoteliers held poor management of the tourism industry responsible for declining footfalls. “There is a sharp drop in arrivals. Instead of looking to arrest this fall, the Tourism Ministry is going to travel marts in countries which hardly have any interest in Goa. They are visiting international markets where the officials have a good holiday,” alleged Mr. Cotta. Mr. Cotta said the biggest problem encountered by them was unregulated accommodation, which he said accounted for nearly 85% of all accommodation in the State. “Illegal conversion of second homes into boutique hotels and bed and breakfast ventures is bleeding the genuine hotel industry. These outfits get liberal licences under an antiquated Tourism Trade Act , do not pay adequate taxes, tariffs as per hospitality structure and thus deny a level playing field for medium and small hotels, and eventually cause a loss of revenue to the State,” said Santanio D’Souza, secretary of the association. “Online room aggregators with their aggressive pricing have also driven the room prices down making it difficult for small and medium hotels to survive. At the same time the low prices has promoted ‘cheap tourism’,” said joint- secretary Pifran Fernandes. Mr. Cotta also demanded a ban on wholesalers of alcohol being given retail liquor licences, which he said, had triggered an unhealthy trend of tourists drinking in public places leading to nuisance. “People buy drinks from wholesale liquor stores, which are cheap and start drinking on the streets and just litter the surroundings and beaches. Goa is projected as a destination where alcohol can be purchased even in a supermarket,” Mr. Cotta said.
Arturo Vidal asserted on Tuesday that his team will overcome Portugal in the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final and meet reigning World Cup champions Germany in the title clash on July 2.The two-time Copa America champions will take on current European champions Portugal in the semi-finals at the Kazan Arena on Wednesday.Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been in good form for Portugal, bagging man of the match awards in all three group matches.Vidal however, has allayed any fears ahead of the vital tie, asserting that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner will not be able to carry Portugal to the final.”I have already told my Bayern Munich team-mate (and Germany international) Joshua Kimmich that we will meet again in the final,” the Chilean midfielder was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror on Tuesday.Vidal also lashed out at the Portuguese star, saying he does not exist for him.”Cristiano is a smart ass. For me he does not exist,” Vidal said.Portuguese midfielder Luis Fernandes also thinks that the South Americans are favourites in their semi-final clash.”Chile are favourites. They’ve players of great quality playing in big clubs worldwide, but our goal is to play the final,” Fernandes said.
zoomImage by WMN Greek shipowner Empire Navigation is reportedly bolstering its Medium Range (MR) tanker fleet with up to eight newbuildings.According to Fearnleys’ weekly report, the company has placed an order for four 50,000 dwt MRs with Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.Under the deal, Empire has options to boost its order to eight units. The shipbroker did not disclose any price details, however, the firm MR quartet is set for delivery in 2020, the report said.World Maritime News is yet to receive a comment on the order from the Greek shipowner.Hyundai Mipo has been tied to an order for four 1,800 continerships from Nissen Kaiun. The ships are scheduled for completion in 2019, the shipbroker added.World Maritime News Staff