Maha’tra plans for inbound influx

In order to help inbound tourists plan their itinerary better and entice them to visit Maharashtra, the Tourism Department of Government of Maharashtra has planned to release set dates of all festivals starting with the Mumbai International Festival, which will be held from 20-28 January 2024.

Hazel Jain

Sharing initiatives that the government has started to attract more international tourists into the state, Radhika Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Culture Affairs, Government of Maharashtra, said that the state will plan and release set dates of various cultural festivals that the state will host. “We have had various discussions with tour operators who sell India and they gave us really good feedback as to what Maharashtra Tourism can do to increase the state’s tourism potential. One of the biggest takeaways for us, and something which we have already implemented, is that all the inbound tourists plan their itinerary almost a year or six months in advance. This means we should have events and festivals also planned – at least a year in advance. They suggested we have fixed dates for all our festivals,” she said.

Rastogi said that the new schedule will be implemented from the Mumbai International Festival. “This nine-day festival will celebrate the spirit of Mumbai. The first edition will be held during January 20-28, 2024. We will freeze the dates for all the other festivals. So, international travellers can plan their itinerary in advance and get the best of Maharashtra. This year, we had planned for more than 10 festivals. We had two monsoon festivals this year, one firefly festival, which was the first of its kind held in Bhandardara,” she said.

Addressing the travel trade partners, Rastogi said that finally tourism is a multi-stakeholder industry and the state government is only a small player. “It is for all of you to come help us and ensure we grow together. At the end of the day, the government has its shortcomings. Because we are slow to change and slow to respond. So, you are in a better position to help since you are on the move and responding to the requirements of the tourists,”
she added.



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