Maha Tourism in Maharashtra
Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism & (EGS), Maharashtra, is leaving no stone unturned to develop new products for the state – from building infrastructure around forts, facilitating cruise and medical tourism to encouraging Buddhist tourism.
QMaharashtra has been creating a lot of new attractions and developing infrastructure. How much investment has the state allocated for this in 2017-18 and in 2018-19? The historic forts in Pune district namely, Raireshwar, Rohida and Parwadi have been sanctioned Rs 6.5 crore for development. MTDC is also proposing to secure 100 acres of government land in Igatpuri to develop as a wellness hub which will offer therapies like yoga, Ayurveda, reiki, spa, etc. The Government of
To promote cruise tourism, the centre has removed ousting charges and has given a discount of 42-66% on port charges. They have also introduced e-visa & onarrival visa for cruise tourists and waived off cabotage for foreign cruise vessels
Maharashtra has also proposed ‘Mumbai-Aurangabad-Nagpur’ triangle which will assist to boost tourism. Recently, Maharashtra government collaborated with Airbnb to start homestay facilities in 35 places at Elephanta Island. MTDC and Airbnb have also cooperatively initiated a training programme to drive economic growth within local communities.
Q What was the idea behind developing and investing on this aspect of tourism?
Maharashtra has a vast potential for tourism to provide the rising demands of tourists all over the world. The agenda of the tourism policy as on May 2016 is to attract private investments and develop the necessary infrastructure to boost tourism in the state.
Q Can you share the details of projects that the ministry is actively involved in apart from the upgradation of the cruise terminal in Mumbai?
Talking about cruise tourism, Mumbai will be a hub in Maharashtra as many attractive tourist destinations will be developed. As cruise tourism is the fastest-growing components of the leisure sector, it will help generate foreign exchange and create job opportunities. The government is also planning to develop new covering Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Cochin. To promote cruise tourism, the centre has removed ousting charges and has given a discount of 42-66 per cent on port charges. They have also introduced e-visa and on-arrival visa facilities for cruise tourists and waived off cabotage for foreign cruise vessels. Airports on water, where seaplanes can land will soon be in the country. Maharashtra is still working on processes of seaplane operations.
Q Are there other areas of focus that are on your priority list?
Medical tourism is one of the fast-growing segments in the tourism industry. In a recentlyheld conference, experts discussed and debated on the future of medical tourism in Maharashtra and the state’s potential to develop in global medical tourism. Secondly, Bollywood tourism is another key area. Mumbai is known quotient they bring. To widen the prospects of Bollywood tourism across the state, we have provided a resolution to single-window scheme to ease the required permission for advertisements in and around Maharashtra. Last but not the least is the Buddhist circuit. Maharashtra tourism recently hosted the International Buddhist Conclave 2018 with the association of Ministry of Tourism on August 24, 2018. The main aim is to expand the avenues of Buddhist tourism in Maharashtra.
Q What is the kind of increase you have seen in number?
The state of Maharashtra is in the process of maintaining the statistics of last year and are expecting a heavy tourist rush during the monsoon season in Maharashtra and the tourism department of the state has issued a strict advisory to each district collector, especially for the most vulnerable tourist spots to avoid accidents and take precautions. The stepped up surveillance after a sequence of recent accidents at scenic waterfalls and tourism destinations. The preventive measures have been suggested by MTDC and the approval for the same is awaited.