The government of Maharashtra wants to market the state as a parcel for all tourisms and all age groups, and the government intends to make the state an attractive tourist destination for all age groups, from 6 to 60, says Milind Borikar, Director, Directorate of Tourism, Maharashtra.
“The government of Maharashtra wants to develop different tourism circuits like the fort circuit, we want to develop the Buddhism circuit, the Bhakti circuit as we have popular spiritual destinations like Shirdi, Siddhivinayak, three and a half shaktipeeths, and Pandarpur,” Borikar said in a conversation with Business Today.
Maharashtra, which is the third-largest and the second-most populous state in India, is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists across India. In the backdrop of low COVID-19 cases in India, the state is not leaving any stone unturned in pushing policies such as the beach shack policy, agro-tourism policy, caravan tourism policy, and single-window clearance policy, to name a few, that can lead to a growth of the tourism sector in the state.
“The big policy intervention that the government of Maharashtra has made is the ease of doing business, the state has brought down the clearances required for setting up a hotel from 70 to 10, I can say that we have a very optimistic and futuristic atmosphere to invest in Maharashtra as well as to visit Maharashtra,” said Borikar.
On being asked about the features of ideal tourism policy, Borikar said, “Ideal tourism policy should be environment friendly because wherever we are going as tourists what we are seeing is the deterioration of surrounding which is most dangerous for our future generations.”
According to him, an ideal tourism policy should also talk about deploying cleaner sources of energy like solar energy, wind energy and electric vehicles etc.
“We will be focusing more on responsible tourism, eco-system friendly. Thus, we are running electric cars, electric buses, etc. In Ajanta-Ellora, instead of diesel buses, we are planning to run electric buses, we are also planning other eco-friendly activities,” Borikar said.
Throwing light on the steps taken by the state government in mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector, he said, “Maharashtra is the first state to give industry status to the tourism sector. We are giving direct financial benefits on their utility bills such as electricity, water as well as their property taxes and land taxes. It is a huge benefit for them.”
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