In a bid to help the pandemic affected the tourism industry, the Maharashtra Government has taken a slew of initiatives including policies to promote agro-tourism, caravan tourism, beach shack tourism and adventure tourism. The government also provided industry status to the hospitality sector.
According to the Economic Survey, MoU worth Rs 200 crore was signed to provide a funicular railway/ ropeway at Shri Ekvira Devi Temple at Karla and ropeway at Rajgad fort in Pune district. Another MoU was signed to facilitate Agro-tourism development.
The government has signed MoUs with Bangladesh and Oman to boost Medical and Wellness tourism during November, 2021.
The agro-tourism centres. These enterprises are eligible for loans and other tax benefits. There are 328 agro-tourism centres in 30 districts in the state.
The Beach Shack Policy allows the setting up of temporary eco-friendly and CRZ compliant beach shacks, deck beds, umbrellas and common beach facility centres along the Kokan coast. Popular beaches namely Kelwe & Bordi in Palghar, Diveagar & Varsoli in Raigad, Aare Ware & Guhagar in Ratnagiri and Kunkeshwar & Tarkarli in Sindhudurg have been selected for this project.
‘’In an effort to revive this sector, the State has awarded ‘industry status’ to this sector. As an effort to step up and revive tourism, the State has introduced a single-window clearance for licensing in order to promote ease of doing business for the hospitality sector. To start a new business in the hospitality sector about 70 permissions/ approvals/ licenses were required from 12 departments earlier. Considering tremendous employment potential in this sector, the government has decided to reduce the number of permissions/ approvals/ licenses to 10 which can be obtained from seven departments,’’ it said. It added that tourism, one of the fastest-growing sectors in the state, is generating substantial foreign exchange and is also creating significant employment prospects.
The State is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, offering a diverse range of ‘’experiences from beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, forts, colourful festivals, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums and historical monuments. The State has always attracted tourists from different states and countries,’’ said the survey.