Tourists should book only registered hotels: Goa Minister

Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Monday warned of action against tourists putting up in rented villas and bed and breakfast facilities which were not registered with the state Tourism Department.

Talking to reporters here, he also said that department officials would also soon enforce a crackdown on such unregistered hotels, villas and accommodation facilities.

“We will be taking strict action going ahead. Only a hotel registered with the Tourism Department will be allowed to accept (room) bookings. And tourists should only book hotels or other facilities approved by the department,” Ajgaonkar said, suggesting that booking a room in a non registered accomodation facility would be considered illegal.

The Tourism Department had already issued notices to several hotels, bed and breakfasts, and owners of rooms which are made available for booking via room aggregator websites, for not registering their properties with the tourism authorities, he said.

Due to non-registration of such facilities, it was difficult to ascertain the exact number of tourists who visit Goa every year, he added.

The Minister also said that with tourists slowly trickling into Goa, his Ministry would soon start a publicity blitz to re-position Goa as a tourism destination.

“We are preparing a media plan and advertising (campaign) we will announce that now. We want good tourists to come to Goa,” he said.