Hotels & travel agents in Goa, may soon be required to be registered on online portals

The draft rule states that travel agents need to be registered as well.

Last year, Goa's state government had established a set of regulations which required online travel aggregators to be registered under the purview of the tourism department. Now the authorities have devised rules to expedite the registration process and the renewal of services. The mandate draft states that hotels and other forms of accommodations in Goa, which are not registered with the concerned authority, will not be allowed to be listed or displayed by the online service providers.

Rules to be finalized by the end of September

The rules of this move is said to be finalized by the end of September, after considering the thoughts and opinions of the public. The concerned department which will be moving forward with it, hasn't been particularly defined yet but it is being assumed that it'll be under watch of the tourism department.

Due to the lack of legal provisions as of now, there is a major chunk of accommodation owners in the state who rent out their rooms and spaces to tourists. This has been further creating an uncatalogued number of stays, which may be the cause of alarming situations pertaining to safety and also, this leads to the state losing out on their rightful revenue.

The state government had also received repeated complaints by the hospitality industry, where they had talked about online aggregators not registering their services with the tourism department. This led to unfair means of churning profit and keeping this in view, the Goa, Daman and Diu Registration of Tourist Trade Act was revamped last year.

Travel Agents too, are required to be registered

The registration fees which have been listed for aggregators who are lending travel and accommodation services are marked at 2 lakh rupees and the charges are 1 lakh rupees each, for aggregators providing booking and travel. Online providers who are conferring such services must also showcase the registration details of all hotels, accommodations and travel agencies which are logged on to their websites. Furthermore, they're required to have a grievance officer on their platforms, who will be readily available to address queries and issues raised by consumers.

The draft rule even states that travel agents need to be registered as well or else they will miss out on being registered or displayed by online service providers. Any violators found, will be removed immediately from online displays.

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