State Affairs

New plan for Konkan on World Tourism Day

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will unveil a new tourism development plan for the Konkan region at the Konkan Tourism Development Conference, being held to mark World Tourism Day on September 26, reports The Hindu.

Jointly organised by the Maharashtra government and the Konkan Tourism Industry Association (KTIA) at the Y.B. Chavan Centre, the one-day conference will showcase decisions taken by the government to promote tourism in comparatively unexplored coastal Konkan districts such as Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

KTIA president and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Madhav Bhandari said the association plans to target national and international markets to boost the local tourism economy and has chalked out a strategy focused on development and improvement in transportation, water sports, adventure sports, and homestay facilities.

“We want to propose this plan at the conference in the presence of the Chief Minister, and thank him for taking decisions in promoting Konkan’s tourism,” said Mr. Bhandari, who declined to reveal the plan at the media conference.

He added: “There are about 20,000 people involved in the tourism industry and allied businesses, of which only about 1,000 are registered. Although sports and activities like scuba diving, started by locals, already exist in many parts of Konkan, we are adopting a policy to get all these activities registered, monitored, recognised and secured by the State government to ensure international standards and complete safety. Facilities and hospitality will be upgraded to international standards and etiquette-training workshops focused on national and international tourists will be held.”

Mr. Bhandari said the development plan also includes upgrading Konkan Railway connectivity with additional trains, and the Union Transport Ministry headed by Nitin Gadkari had already initiated work on the four-lane Mumbai-Goa road. The upgrading of NH-17 is expected to be completed by 2018, and Mr. Gadkari has claimed it will reduce travel time between Mumbai and Goa to six hours.

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