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Tourism industry in Maharashtra will flourish post-COVID: Aditya Thackeray

Dec 16, 2020

NEW DELHI, 16 December 2020: Mr Aditya Thackeray, Minister for Tourism, Environment, Protocol, Government of Maharashtra, today said that the region will see a major boost in tourism in the post-COVID era.


Addressing an Interactive session with FICCI Tourism Committee, Mr Thackeray said that tourism can be revived with a two-way approach, one to promote the destination and another by creating a destination and establishing a local industry around it.


"We have to divide the tourism experience into formal and informal experience." The Maharashtra Government and the department is working on ecotourism aided by sustainable goals, he said.


To encourage the tourist vibe, it is important to keep the tourists engaged, which needs larger connectivity. "We have funds allocated but it needs to be used wisely," said the minister. Thackeray said in terms of tourism and hospitality, a major boost has been given to the sector in the past month.


The Maharashtra government has rejuvenated the state's tourism sector with a focus on local heritage, culture, and history. "We have everything in Maharashtra," he said. The Sahyadri, white beaches and the state's tiger sanctuary continues to attract wildlife lovers and the growing number of visitors also highlights the eco-tourism potential.


Elaborating on the government's future initiatives he said, it is important to narrate the history of Maharashtra to the tourists through its valuable heritage. "Historical monuments like the BMC building, the High Court and Wankhede Stadium will be open for day tourists," he said.


"I firmly believe that the travel-tourism-hospitality sector will generate major revenue and employment opportunities in the post-Covid-19 world," said Mr Thackeray.


Ms Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary, Enquiry Officer, GAD, Civil Aviation & Excise and Tourism & Cultural Affairs (Additional Charge), Government of Maharashtra said that since the COVID-19 pandemic the hospitality and tourism industry has been working very closely with the government of Maharashtra.


She further mentioned that Government of Maharashtra is taking concrete steps to boost infrastructure development and ease of doing business by reducing the number of licenses required from seventy to ten and soon this will be reduced to only one license. "Infrastructure status has been granted to the hospitality industry effective from 2021 to further boost this segment and  seven MTDC properties in key tourist destinations will soon be available for private investment," she said.


The state, she said is also working on separate policies for development of Agro tourism, horticulture tourism, adventure tourism, caravan tourism, beach shacks and vacation homes. She further stated that cricket tourism and Bollywood tourism are also being developed as part of experiential tourism and the department is also working on a mobile app that will be handy for all tourists visiting the state.  "Maharashtra will be the gateway of Indian tourism soon," said Ms Singh.


Mr Ranveer Brar, Renowned Celebrity Chef said that there is a home cooking revolution brewing among home chefs and it's time to structure, monitor and cradle the home-cooking industry.


Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President - FICCI, Chairperson - FICCI Tourism Committee and CMD - The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said that the  domestic tourism will revive the tourism industry in India. She further said that we aim to bring a synergy between the states. Tourism and hospitality will bring back the vibrancy in the Indian economy.


Mr Sanjoy K Roy, Co-Chair, FICCI Art & Culture Committee and Managing Director, Teamwork Arts Pvt Ltd said that we must encourage local crafts and develop local crafts technique and bring them in smaller heritage sites to boost the tourism industry.


Mr Dipak Deva, Co-Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee and Managing Director, SITA, TCI & Distant Frontier said that Maharashtra offers varied experiences, and we must focus on creating experiences.


Mr Dhruv Shringi, Co-Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee & Co-Founder & CEO, Yatra Inc said that Domestic tourism has rebounded strongly in India in the last few months and we are living in an era of high frequency with short breaks.


Mr Anil Chadha, Co-Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee and Chief Operating Officer, ITC Hotels said that there is a green signal that things are looking ahead in the tourism and hospitality sector.


Mr Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General FICCI, said that Maharashtra is one of the most popular destinations for national and international tourists.


The interactive session was also attended by Ms Aditi Balbir, Managing Director, V Resorts, Ms Vineeta Dixit, Head Public Policy India, Airbnb, Mr Anant Goenka, Co-Chairman, FICCI Maharashtra State Council and Executive Director, Indian Express Group, and Mr Ashish Kumar, Co-Chair, FICCI Travel Technology Committee & Managing Partner, Agnitio Consulting.