Development of Tourism Infrastructure in Maharashtra

April 11, 2017 | Prof. Vibhuti Patel


Introduction

 

Potential of Tourism as one of the most effective drivers for the development of regional economies has been acknowledged by government of Maharashtra. It is one of the key sectors of the economy which makes a positive contribution to government revenues, generation of employment and contribution to regional development. At Travel and Tourism Summit-2005 in New Delhi, Shri. Lalit Suri, Chairman of World Travel and Tourism Council India Initiative stated, “Synergy in India should mean central state and private sector working together to maximize tourism promotion and experience, with greater involvement of state authorities”.

 

Augmentation of quality tourism infrastructure throughout the country is a key area of functioning of the Ministry of Tourism. More than fifty per cent of the Ministry’s expenditure on Plan schemes is incurred for development of quality tourism infrastructure at various tourist destinations and circuits in the States/ UTs.

 

Highlights of the 2016 Maharashtra Tourism Policy are as follows:

 

1. Designate Tourism as a priority sector since it holds the potential to usher in economic development and generate high employment opportunities in Maharashtra – change—the policy will establish.

2. Achieve sector growth of 10% per annum and share of 15% in GSDP through tourism and tourism related activities.

3. Generate fresh investments in the tourism sector to the tune of INR 30,000 crore by 2025

4. Create 1 million additional jobs in the tourism sector by 2025

5. Incentivize tourism units in the state by linking it to the Package Scheme of Incentives, 2013 of Industries, Energy and Labour Department or any modifications thereafter. The incentives under this policy are designed as per the needs of the tourism sector in the state.

6. Key strategic interventions are identified and special incentives for respective intervention have been laid out.

7. Strengthening of tourism infrastructure especially in the form of PPP model, special tourism

infrastructure Tourism Infrastructure development fund, CSR, etc. are defined in this policy.

 

The Department of Tourism has created ‘Maharashtra MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions Bureau’ on lines of Dubai Convention Bureau, as a Public / Private Sector initiative. This has its own budget and Personnel to market Mumbai as a MICE Destination. The bureau also performs the following functions:

 

1. Invite interested private parties through PPP mode for establishing MICE centers across Maharashtra.

2. Simplification of procedures and single window clearance mechanism for Conference / Exhibitions.

3. The bureau will recommend to the Department of Tourism on qualification criteria for disbursement of additional fiscal benefits under this policy.

4. Other key measures will include:

5. Encouraging tourists coming to Mumbai for MICE to bring their families – A tailored itinerary for MICE tourists.

6. Speedy Immigration for tourists traveling for MICE.

7. Recommendations on procedures for rationalization of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF).

8. Action plan for initiatingMoUs with airlines to promote Mumbai as a hop-over destination.

9. Recommendations on rationalization and simplification of Conference visa regime.

 

Hotels

 

Hotels are an important component of the tourism product. They contribute in the overall tourism experience through the standards of facilities and services offered by them. With the aim of providing contemporary standards of facilities and services available in the hotels, the Ministry of Tourism has formulated a voluntary scheme for classification of operational hotels which will be applicable to the following categories: Star Category Hotels: 5 Star Deluxe, 5 Star, 4 Star, 3 Star, 2 Star & 1 Star Heritage Category Hotels: Heritage Grand, Heritage Classic & Heritage Basic

 

The Ministry of Tourism has a scheme for granting approval to hotel projects from the point of view of this suitability for international tourists. Travel Trade Division has a classification committee set up by the Ministry classifies the functioning hotels under the star system into six categories from star one to five star deluxe. Similarly, the Ministry has a scheme of approving Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators and Tourist Transport Operators, the idea being to encourage quality, standard and service in these categories so as to promote Tourism in India. This is a voluntary scheme open to all bonfire agencies.

 

It has been the Endeavour of the Ministry of Tourism to put in place a system of training and professional education with necessary infrastructural support capable of generating manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the tourism and hospitality industry, both quantitatively and qualitatively. As of now, there are 29 Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs), comprising 21 Central IHMs and 8 State IHMs, and 5 Food Craft Institutes (FCIs), which have come up with the support of the Ministry. These institutes were set up as autonomous societies with specific mandate to impart / conduct hospitality education / training in hospitality skills. Universities have been conducting degree/diploma and certificate courses on Travel and Tourism.

 

Training Programmes

 

Tourism management and catering education programmes gained tremendous popularity and the profile of students seeking admission to these courses also underwent a transformation. As a result, courses offered by the National Council are of international standard which have been recognized by the hospitality industry. At present, there are 41 Institutes of Hotel Managementcomprising of 21 Central IHMs, 8 State IHMs and 12 Private IHMs and 5 Food Craft Institutesfollowing National Council’s course curriculum. The National Council has its own website, which can be accessed at www.nchmct.org

 

Task Force for steering and monitoring the skill development effort of the Government of India is marked by Ministry of Tourism providing lodging facilities to the trainees from all parts of India. Travel Agents are important stake holders in tourism infrastructure as they make arrangements of tickets for travel by air, rail, ship, passport, visa, etc. They also arrange accommodation, tours, entertainment and other tourism related services. Inbound tour operators make arrangements for transport, accommodation, sightseeing, entertainment and other tourism related services for foreign tourists. Tourist Transport Operators provide tourist transport like cars, coaches, boats etc. to tourists for transfers, sightseeing and journeys to tourist places etc. Adventure Tour Operators engage in activities related to Adventure Tourism in India namely, water sports, aero sports, mountaineering, trekking and safaris of various kinds, etc. In addition to that he may also make arrangements for transport, accommodation, etc. Domestic tour operators make arrangements for transport, accommodation, sightseeing, entertainment and other tourism related services for domestic tourists.

 

Publicity

 

As part of its marketing / publicity activities, the Ministry of Tourism brings out brochures, leaflets, maps, films, CDs, etc. on various topics. Each heading given below details the theme on an all India basis, based on availability of the respective products. In case of the destination folders, the leaflet / folder / brochure gives the information about the place or the destination with various facets of the facilities available, sightseeing around the place, important telephone numbers and the contact points of India tourism officers. Similarly, the films deal with the subject in its entirety covering all destinations of the country.

 

Overseas Marketing

 
Overseas offices of GoI are created by The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, through its 14 offices overseas endeavors to position India in the tourism generating markets as a preferred tourism destination, to promote various Indian tourism products vis-à-vis competition faced from various destinations and to increase India’s share of the global tourism market. Through an integrated marketing and promotional strategy and a synergized campaign in association with the Travel Trade, State Governments and Indian Missions. The specific elements of promotional efforts undertaken overseas include Advertising in the Print & Electronic Media, Participation in Fairs & Exhibitions, Organizing Seminars, Workshops, Road Shows & India Evenings, Printing of Brochures and Collaterals, Brochure Support/Joint Advertising with Travel Agents / Tour Operators, Inviting the Media and Travel Trade to visit the country under the Hospitality Programme etc.
 
Incredible India International Campaigns
 

Ministry of Tourism commenced its International TV Campaign (2009-10 – Extended to 2010-11) for Europe and Americas region, which finished in the first half of the 2010-11.

In December, 2010, the Ministry launched its International TV Campaign 2010-11 - Europe. Leading TV channels of pan-regional reach are part of the Media Plan of the Ministry.

 

Participation in Travel Fairs and Exhibitions

 

India tourism offices overseas have participated in the major international Travel Fairs and Exhibitions in important tourist generating markets the world over as well as in emerging and potential markets to showcase and promote the tourism products of the country. These include Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, PATA Travel Mart in Macau, and World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China International Travel Mart in Shanghai, ITB – Asia in Singapore, World Travel Market (WTM) in London, IMEX in Frankfurt, FITUR in Madrid and ITB in Berlin.

India tourism, Beijing was awarded the “Best Tourism Promotion Award” at the World Travel Fair in Shanghai. India tourism, Tokyo was awarded the “Best Booth Operation Award” at the Korea World Travel Fair and the “Best Tourism Promotion Award” at the Busan International Tourism Fair in South Korea.

 

Some Major Promotional Activities Undertaken for Overseas Promotion

 

The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India undertook a series of promotional initiatives to aggressively promote tourism to India.

As part of the promotional initiatives undertaken, Road Shows were organized in important tourist generating markets overseas with participation of different segments of the travel industry.

  • Road Shows, in collaboration with the Indian Association of Tour Operators were organized in CIS Countries, during the months of September-October 2010. Road Shows in collaboration with the PATA India Chapter were organized in May 2010 in USA and Canada. The Road Shows comprised presentations on India followed by one-to-one business meetings between the trade delegation from India and the travel trade in the respective countries. The delegation for the Road Shows was led by the Secretary (Tourism).

  • India tourism Toronto undertook massive advertising and outdoor publicity during the Vancouver Winter Games 2010 in Vancouver and also Paralympics Games 2010 from February to March 2010.

  • India Tourism Paris participated and supported the 3rd France-India Business Cup Golf Tournament held at St. Tropez, France during 13th – 17th October 2010. A high level delegation led by Hon’ble Minister Tourism, Joint Secretary (T), Regional Director, India Tourism Frankfurt attended the event. Hon’ble Minister of Tourism inaugurated the France-India Business Cup Golf Tournament on 14th of October and there was a meeting held with various Stakeholders for promotion of Golf Tourism.

  • India tourism, Dubai organized the Golf Tournament at Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. India tourism Johannesburg organized “Know India” seminar to the group of 12 people travelling to India and for the group of 6 ladies travelling to south India giving information about shopping, hotels, Ayurveda and spas and safe travelling for women.

 
Market Research

Statistical data is an important tool for the planners and policy makers not only for planning/ policy formulation but also to monitor the progress of the schemes and evaluate their impact. The Ministry of Tourism brings out an Annual Publication called " India Tourism Statistics " every year giving details of international and domestic tourism, including details about the classified hotels etc. In addition, a small brochure called “Tourism Statistics at a Glance” is also brought out, giving updated and latest key statistical data. The Ministry also estimates month wise Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) figures and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from tourism, and this is brought out within a time lag of just 4-5 days.

 
Cooperation with International organizations
 

International Co-operation Division is one of the important divisions of the Ministry of Tourism, which engages in various consultations and negotiations with the international organizations such as United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP); Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Co-operation (BIMSTEC); Mekong-Ganga Co-operation (MGC); Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) and South Asian Sub-regional Economic Co-operation (SASEC). This Division holds consultations and negotiations with other countries for signing of Agreements / Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for bilateral/multilateral cooperation in the field of tourism, organizes Joint Working Group Meetings with other countries and attends Joint Commission Meetings in coordination with the Ministries of Commerce, Culture, External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Finance, Petroleum, etc. for development and promotion of tourism.

 

Niche Tourism

 

Tourists who are interested in natural tourism for recreation which includes a wide range of activities skiing, paragliding, swimming, water rafting, fishing, hunting, horse riding, trekking, safaris, etc. Rural natural tourism is attractive for three reasons it will cost effective and pollution free environment and lots of greenery. Some of the adventurous game requires operational skills to help the tourist. According the respondents, the trained tourist guide is very important for rural natural tourism. They have the responsibilities to understand the customer need and use his experience and skill to keep them safe and happy.

 

Cultural tourism is concerned with the culture, history, and archeology of local people. They are interested in visiting culturally significant places in India. The places with historical evidence attract tourists. Since most of these places do not have proper accommodation facilities people generally prefer to gofer a day trip. In southern part of India there are large temples made in ancient period or medieval period. Forts of different Nizams or the rulers in remote areas could the area of interest for many tourists. Lots of forts and palaces of Maharajas from medieval period and modern period are available in northern and western of India. Temple from all the periods, archeological excavation of ancient period is available in northern and western of India. In eastern part of India, we find temples from all period and British architectural evidence indifferent places, an evidence of modern period. Making the historical site a canter of attraction, we can provide other services to attract the attention of the tourist.

 

India's fairs and festivals, some of which are already well established such as the Pushkar mela of Ajmer, the Desert Festival at Jaisalmer, the Kumbh Mela, Navchandi mela in Meerut,Shantiniketan Mela in Bolpur etc. should be promoted as unique products of Indian culture. Different festival of India like Holi, Diwali, Durga Puja, Ganesh Utsav, Navaratri, etc are some of the festivals of India should be more organize to attract Domestic as well as International tourist. Melas and festivals are needed to be promoted to attract tourists. According to the respondents, the tour operators have to be organized programme for the tourist to encourage rural

Tourism.

 

Film Tourism, Lit Fest Tourism

 

In the recent times, International Film/literary Festivals also attract thousands of tourists. Hundreds of Event Management companies are involved in the organization of the mega events. Proper standards of health and safety need to be put in place so that tourists are not duped, cheated, defrauded and women tourist does not face sexual violence.

 

Health Tourism, which is concerned with health, yoga and Ayurveda treatments. Tourists believe that Health Tourism could be a good option for rural tourism. Many people are suffering from various physical and mental illness like chronic headache, loss of sleep, mental tension, rheumatic pain, muscular strains, sprains, nervous pains of muscular origin, obesity or excessive fatness and muscles weakness. Many respondents are interested for health tourism. Yoga, Ayurveda and spa treatment are time-tested and trusted methods to improve your physical and mental activity irrespective of the age group. Ayurveda is the only system of medical treatment Rural Tourism It’s an Alcove that India can offering the world which uses botanical treatment for the body and mind. All three have been accepted global today. The World Health Organization recognizes it as an alternative medicine. Yoga, Ayurveda and spa treatments are the world’s most ecofriendly medicine, none of them have anyside-effects.Moreover, India is a major suppliers of doctors, nurses, health management personnel to several industrially advanced as well as developing countries. Why not use this great human capital for India’s economic growth by developing health tourism infrastructure?

 

Ecotourism is a socially responsible type of tourism which preserves natural resources as wells maintaining the well-being and social values of the local population.Eco tourists are interested in visiting those site is famous for their natural resources. Mangrove in Sundarbans of West Bengal, Hot spring in Rajgirh in Bihar, Gir forest in Gujarat, TharDesert in Rajasthan, Lakes in Udaipurin Rajasthan, Chilka Lake in Orissa these are some of the famous site visited by the tourist regularly. But there are many other site which are neither well-connected nor have the basic facilities to attract the tourist Many tourists like to visit place of natural beauty like native bush, caves, fossils, bird sanctuary, waterways, natural forest, natural park, desert, wildlife, marine life, snowfall etc. Tourists expect to learn something from this type of trips. They expect a skill interpretation with necessary knowledge to guide them and answer to all their curiosities. Boucher and books could be made available to the tourists for better understand the site. Video films of those sites with proper explanations could act as a guide where experience guide is not available.

 

Village-based tourism, in which tourists share in village life, and rural villages gain economic and other benefits from tourist activities people are interested for village based tourism. Most of them are not interested because according to them basic facilities will not be available there. Accommodation could be a problem. Public administration is weak in villages, they are not safe

And secure. Tour operators can make the village base tourism attractive by arranging different types of accommodation to make the village stay comfortable. It could be a holiday accommodation with parks and hostels. Hotels with motor lodges, bar and restaurant facilities. Motels and self-catering without bar and restaurant facilities. And lastly host accommodation with bed and breakfast, home stays, farm stays, and camp stay. Each of the four categories has its own facilities and the quality of the service which contribute towards the quality of the experience. Rural self-catering units i.e. self-accommodation e.g. quarters and other types of under-utilized farm accommodation often can be upgraded to meet tourist requirements. Demand

For this type of accommodation is growing. In some places like Goa, different parts of Kerala and

Rajasthan this type of accommodation is given to the tourist. Rural ambience may be natural or created to provide a rural lifestyle to tourist. Monitoring mechanism to ensure safety of tourists as well as hosts is need of an hour.

 

Agro tourism, in which tourists watch or take part in traditional agricultural practices, without disturbing the ecosystem or the productivity of host areas. Some are interested for agro tourism. Agro tourism refer to visiting a working farm or any agricultural, horticultural or agribusiness operation for the purpose of enjoyment, education, or active involvement in the activities of the farm or operation. It could be an overnight stay, for the purpose of participating in or enjoying farm activities and/or other attraction offered. The tourist can move around the farms or orchards

Where they can themselves collect or harvest the fruits or products. The prices they pay for the volume harvested will be usually higher than what the grower would get from a broker. The activity of visiting a farm for short periods of time for the purpose of participating in or enjoying

Farm activities and/or other attraction offered. Farm stay is the most well-known of these, and consists of bed and breakfast and, in some cases, an evening meal, along with activities or attractions centered mainly on the traditional, pastoral, farm or farmhouse. Properties which use the land in other ways e.g. horticulture or forestry are also included. Successful farm stays to a

Rural Tourism It’s an Alcove that India can offer very large extent depend on the well-developed hospitality skills of the host and their capacity to make visitors feel as though they are part of the family.

 

Conclusion

 

For providing state of the art tourism infrastructure, the state needs to attract private sector participation for infrastructure development projects and access the operational expertise of private companies under public private partnerships (PPPs) model for implementing infrastructure projects efficiently. For this, identification of suitable private partners for projects in the state is a must. Structures and mechanisms need to be created to provide advice on project marketing and deal structuring, Transaction Advisory Services for the public sector to engage private investors, bid management services for Investors, identify optimal capital structures and financing strategies for PPP projects, assist clients in packaging projects in order to raise capital through various debt or equity structures and instruments, create business plans, secure financing for infrastructure projects as per the safety standards, valuation and business modeling, divestitures and carve-outs and  Feasibility Studies.

 

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