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Maharashtra to announce caravan, adventure tourism policies

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on December 13, 2020

Ties in with growing trend among city dwellers to plan holidays that are closer to their homes

After the opening up of hotels and restaurants, in its next big push for promoting tourism in the state, the Maharashtra government will soon declare a policy for Caravan and Adventure tourism.

The State Tourism Secretary, Valsa Nair Singh, told BusinessLine that in the wake of the Covid pandemic, the nature of holidays for city dwellers has changed. They are looking at shorter holidays and destinations that are closer to their homes. Tourists now prefer to take road trips and numerous such holidaymakers are choosing to travel by their own vehicles. They are travelling to destinations that are closer to nature. The Caravan and Adventure tourism policies are being drawn up for such tourists, she said.

Singh said the State Government is already working with a few Caravan operators offering good services. Under the policy, private caravan parking bays would be promoted. Plans are also afloat to tie up with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation to offer safe parking bays in tourist properties spread out across the state,

The parking bays will also offer tourists electricity and other amenities. The Forest and Irrigation Department, who are also on-board, would allow use of their lands, which could be part of a forest or a dam, to park caravans, the Tourism Secretary said.

The Adventure tourism policy is being designed with an eye on tourists keen on hiking, cycling and trekking. Given the safety requirements for such tourist activities, fly-by-night tourist operators would not be encouraged, she said.

The Tourism Department is recalibrating its strategy and its processes to introduce two new policies, which will give a further boost to tourism in the state. The Department is also pushing for a Farm Tourism policy, where people could stay at agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry farms. They could enjoy the activities associated with the farm and enjoy the local food. The process of training and capacity building is also underway at such farms so that tourists get an authentic experience, Singh added.

Published on December 13, 2020

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