Rai Umraopati Ray
Post-pandemic, what are the new initiatives of Maharashtra Tourism?
Post-pandemic, we have identified 10 tourist circuits and we are working on developing tourism infrastructure and activities around them. Rather than spreading ourselves thin, we have taken initiatives to improve the tourist facilities around these circuits which have heritage sites and forts. There is a famous quadrilateral which people call Diamond Circuit, it starts from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad. There are a number of heritage sites in all the four cities and we are developing the facilities around them. A media strategy and plan has been developed to highlight these 10 tourist circuits to travellers nationally and internationally.
Apart from these, we are working on concepts according to the demands of the tourists. From beach shack policy to lodges in forests to water sports adventure and cultural events, we have taken a number of initiatives and planned a calendar of activities. Every month there will be something to celebrate in Maharashtra depending upon the season. Mumbai will very soon have a festival of its own where we will invite people from all over the place. Similarly, we will have a Fort celebration in February. So Maharashtra is going to be truly a tourist’s delight.
Are you focusing more on domestic tourism or inbound tourism?
The idea is to invite travellers from across the country and the world to Maharashtra. Like our honourable Prime Minister says that we should travel within India and explore our beautiful country. Even people from the state may not have travelled to the hinterlands of Maharashtra. We are all well connected with history, culture and festivals so we are targeting a lot of domestic travellers. Foreign tourists are more than welcome. We have a range of offerings for kinds of travellers like agro-tourism, eco-tourism and a lot of experiential products that attract new-age travellers.
What are your plans for G20?
We are organising a number of attractive shows which will be a mix of local Maharashtra cultural shows and Bollywood for G20. We are trying to create a very good experience for them. At the same time, we are making some very customised tour packages and we are circulating them through Indian embassies. We have been assured that our embassies abroad would be giving us our full support.
What are the ensuing new trends in the travel and tourism sectors?
See we all have realised now the importance of travelling. The need to refresh ourselves every year. The demand we have seen post covid is tremendous and we believe that this is going to stay as it is becoming our habit to travel. In the next two years, the travel and tourism segment is going to see tremendous growth.
The domestic sector is especially going to boom with Indians travelling within the country. India is such a big country and even if we attract tourists from UP, Bengal, North India and even from South to Maharashtra, we can really turn things around in tourism. Second, the good thing in Maharashtra is people are business-friendly. People along with the Konkan areas are working in creating unique HomeStay experiences. In fact, HomeStay as a concept is becoming very popular, which overcomes the shortage of hotels.
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