Maharashtra plans tourism zone near upcoming Navi Mumbai airport

maharashtra news

Mumbai may soon get a dedicated ‘tourism zone’ near the upcoming greenfield international airport in Navi Mumbai. Located near the growth centres of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad, this zone will have a mix of amusement parks, hotels, restaurants, hotel management and training institutes, and ancillary activities. It is one of the provisions in the draft tourism policy for Maharashtra that is expected to be tabled before the state cabinet soon.

“The draft policy includes provisions for allocating land for a tourism zone and creating this zone on 1,000 acres of land near the Navi Mumbai international airport. The location has been chosen as it is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) growth hub. It will have hotels, entertainment facilities, amusement parks and tourism-related activities,” said a state tourism department official. “The zone will also have a hotel management and training institute as we plan to focus on skill development. The private sector needs skilled manpower.”

The policy will also have provisions for creation of a dedicated ‘tourism police’ corps, which will be deployed in tourist areas. These personnel will be drawn from the ranks of ex-servicemen, and the force will be trained in activities such as assisting tourists. The draft policy will also focus on experimental tourism activities such as rural tourism, adventure tourism, community tourism and wellness tourism. It includes a single-window clearance for the hospitality sector, reported India Today.

“Stakeholder consultations have been completed, and the draft policy will be submitted to the state cabinet soon for approval,” the official informed.

As per the India Tourism Statistics-2022 report, Maharashtra had 43.57 million domestic tourists visiting and 190,000 foreign tourists in 2021, as against 39.23 million domestic tourists and 1.26 million foreign tourists in 2020. The report ranked Maharashtra fifth in domestic tourist visits and second in foreign tourist visits in 2021, added the India Today report.

The ‘Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2022-23’ notes that the state is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India, offering a diverse range of experiences—beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, natural caves, waterfalls, forts, ancient pilgrimage shrines, museums and historical monuments.

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