From building a planetarium near Lonar Crater to developing six resorts in the interiors, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is creating experiences in remote spots. Vijay Kumar Gautam, Principal Secretary, Maharashtra, and the recently-appointed Managing Director, MTDC, shares more.
Q What are the areas MTDC is focusing on in terms of products?
We are coming out with guidelines for medical tourism and looking for assistance from local administration to give easy access to patients travelling for medical purposes. Similarly, Buddhist tourism has immense potential in the state as it has rich Buddhist heritage related to the life of Lord Buddha. However, the seeds of our culture are rooted in the villages and agritourism will be a big attraction for tourists. It will also increase the standard of living and income of farmers and local communities. The Bollywood tourism undoubtedly is the USP of the state. MTDC has recently associated with ND‘s Film World under the ‘Mahabhraman’ scheme to showcase the process of filmmaking.
“Recently, MTDC has introduced mine tourism at Wani in Yavatmal district to showcase mining operations”
Q What are the key projects that MTDC is focusing on?
The Planetarium & Museum near Lonar Crater Lake in Buldhana district will showcase various aspects of space science and highlight a film on the formation of Lonar Crater and its importance. The other important project is the six resorts that were constructed by MTDC in the last five years at Sakoli (District Bhandara), Ambhora (Nagpur), Mozari Point Chikaldara (Amravati), Bodhalkasa (Gondia), Gaganbawda (Kolhapur) and Kunakeshwar (Sindhudurga). These projects have huge potential to appeal to travellers and help them enjoy some untapped destinations.
Recently, MTDC has introduced mine tourism at Wani in Yavatmal district to showcase mining operations. Here, tourists get an opportunity to go inside the coal mines in Bhandewada and Ukani to understand the intricacies involved in the mining process.
Q What about the long-standing problem of trained tourists guide in the state?
MTDC has acknowledged that problem and is conducting guide training programmes in various cities like Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Sindhudurg, Pune, Nasik, Amravati, Solapur and Kolhapur in 2018-19. The objective is to train more than 900 guides who will be accessible for the tourist at several destinations across the state. This will also help generate employment opportunities.
Q Are MTDC officials planning to attend any international trade show this year?
MTDC is planning to attend various international trade shows like WTM London, ITB Berlin and PATA to market the state’s tourism prospects. Recently, it signed multiple Letter of Intent (LOI) agreements with hotel chains, tourism companies and potential investors at Arabian Travel Market 2018.
Q Can you share details of the roadshow that you will organise in India?
Recently, MTDC has participated in a roadshow in Aizawl, capital of Mizoram. MTDC has also signed an MoU with Mizoram to boost investment and growth of tourism in the state. Mizoram is known for its sustainable agritourism initiatives throughout the year.
Q Are you working with any travel trade association?
MTDC’s associated with Travel Agents Association of Nashik (TAAN) has heightened tourism prospects in Nashik. Our aim is to acquaint and educate the travel agents about various tourist locations of Nashik.
Figures don’t lie
- Maharashtra shows a growth of 7.2 per cent in domestic and 18.9 per cent in international tourist arrivals in 2016
- Mumbai airport has registered a growth of 21.5 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals in 2016 in comparison to Delhi, Kochi, Chennai, Hyderabad and some other cities
(Source: Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India)