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Now, Mopa int’l airport starts accepting e-visas | Goa News

PANAJI: The Manohar International Airport on Thursday announced that it has started accepting e-visas. The move is seen as a huge relief to tour operators and international passengers. Since the news about the non-availability of the facility at the new airport in North Goa was out, it had raised concern among tourism stakeholders. Soon after the new airport became operational earlier this year, several airlines announced their plans to land at Mopa. A month ago, Air India shifted its operations to Manohar International Airport but soon the non-availability of e-visas at the facility posed a problem for its UK passengers. Raising the issue on the floor of the House in the legislative assembly on August 8, GFP MLA Vijai Sardesai had said that all flights from London should be moved back to Goa International Airport, Dabolim, to avoid inconvenience to travellers. The Dabolim airport being a naval one, offers limited slots for international flights. Tour operators were worried since August-September is the crucial period when bookings and inquiries from international destinations take place, and foreign arrivals of charter tourists and free independent travellers (FITs) begin from October. While the last season was good, numbers were nowhere close to the annual footfalls of 8-9 lakh international tourists that Goa received before the pandemic. In fact, last year, Goa lost some business as charters from the UK were cancelled with non-issuance of e-visas for travellers from that country. While the e-visa facility for UK citizens was restored in December, it was by then too late for Goa operators. Goa received just two charters a week last season, as TUI Airlines had to reduce the numbers of charters it operated to the state due to the e-visa issue.