Directorate of Tourism
Directorate of Tourism, the flagship body of Maharashtra Tourism, looks after implementing and introducing various tourism schemes, promotions and publicity to boost tourism in the State. Since the inception of the Directorate of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, the State has attained several milestones and bagged numerous accomplishments with the help of various initiatives.
Mentioned below are some of the key highlights/achievements of the past one year
1. Introduction of single window clearance for licensing to promote ease of doing business for hospitality sector
As an effort to step up and revive tourism in the state, Maharashtra has introduced a single-window clearance for licensing in order to promote ease of doing business for hospitality sector. Leading the way to boost the tourism sector, in Maharashtra only 10 not 70, licences will be needed for hospitality business. Also, the decision of merging the application form with self-declaration eliminated the requirement of a permission letter. This means reduction in paper work.
2. First state in the country to give industry status to hospitality sector
A ground-breaking moment for the hotel industry, Maharashtra awards ‘industry status’ to hospitality sector after reduction of pre-establishment licenses from 70 to 10, that will undoubtedly give much needed support to hotels. Hotels can apply to get the Industry status. Application process is open on the official website of Maharashtra Tourism encouraging them to fill a form for getting Industrial status for their properties. This status entitles them to a host of benefits and privileges from the state – tariffs and duties on electricity, water as well as property, development and non-agricultural taxes at industrial rates. In the first phase, the ‘industry status’ can be availed by the hotels classified under the Ministry of Tourism, after which all the other hotels can avail the benefit.
3. First state to implement agri-tourism policy
Being the first state in India to implement agro-tourism policy, Maharashtra is servicing as an enabler for those looking to travel and enjoy rustic outdoors.
The agro-tourism policy will invigorate the rural sector and agricultural practitioners empowering people with a steady source of an alternative employment and income through tourism. The projects of up to 8 rooms plus kitchen within five acres of land will not require a non-agricultural certificate.
4. Maharashtra being the only state to execute its beach shack policy, after Goa
In a bid to boost beach and coastal tourism, the state has recently approved ‘Beach shack’ policy that will allow setting up to 10 beach shacks and beach facility centres along the Konkan coast. ‘Beach Shack Policy’ will encourage locals living on the coastline of Maharashtra to open beach shacks, serving as local hangouts/eateries for tourist.
As a pilot project, 8 beaches of the Konkan coastline have been selected for setting up beach shacks- namely Varsoli and Diveagar beaches in Raigad, Guhagar and Aare Ware beaches in Ratnagiri, Kunkeshwar and Tarkarli beaches in Sindhudurg and, Kelwa and Bordi in Palghar.
The shacks will remain open from 7 AM to 7 PM and CCTV for each one will be mandatory.
5. With an independent office, Directorate of Tourism commences its responsibilities in full swing
To further enhance the humongous tourism potential of the State, Maharashtra Govt. recently set up an independent office of Directorate of Tourism (DoT), the flagship body of Maharashtra Tourism to implement and introduce various tourism schemes, promotions and publicity to boost tourism in the state.
6. Investment MoUs of Rs. 3000 crores to generate over 6000 employment opportunities
Furthermore, to help the industry and business to find its feet again due to the setback caused by the pandemic, The Department of Tourism had announced an investment of Rs. 3000 crores to generate over 6,000 employment opportunities through various mutual tie-ups and Memorandum of understanding (MoUs) in the tourism sector in Maharashtra.
In the wake of people’s life slowly returning to normalcy and easing of lockdown in the State, The Department of Tourism had also announced the new digital festival in Mumbai in partnership with Young Entrepreneurs with the signing of MoUs, announcement of the ‘Videography Contest’ & ‘The Mumbai Festival’ in January 2021.
7. India Today magazine rated Maharashtra as number 1 round the year destination in the ‘Major State category’
Adding another feather to its cap, the state of Maharashtra was rated as the no. 1 round the year travel destination in Major State category by India Today, one of the leading magazines for Tourism in India.
8. Successfully implemented ‘Discover Maharashtra’ digital campaign to promote offbeat places in Maharashtra
In an effort to promote offbeat places, locations in Maharashtra, DoT successfully conducted #DiscoverMaharashtra- a robust digital campaign featuring a plethora of topics such as Medical Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Wellness Tourism, Safe And Responsible Tourism, Experiential Tourism, Heritage Toursim, MICE- to name a few.
9. Execution of the caravan policy as a new vertical of experiential tourism
To boost tourism in the State, the Maharashtra government gave a green signal to the Caravan Tourism policy, which will allow private players to get vehicles for tourism and setting up of caravan parks in public and private places. The policy has been adopted in a bid to develop tourism at offbeat destinations and to facilitate, promote and publicize the tourism directorate. It is aimed at providing safe travel, incentive to tour operators and boost employment opportunities for the travel sector. An application form has been created for them to register & benefit from all the incentives under this policy.
10. New policy for Maharashtra Tourism properties to bring in more investment thereby creating accommodation for luxury segment
Adding another facet to tourism and tourism related activities, Maharashtra Tourism signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Group) to transfer 54.40 hectare of land for setting up a five-star tourism centre on the 90-year lease at Mauje Shiroda Velagar, Taluka Vengurla, in Sindhudurg district. An investment of Rs 100 Crore will be made in the first phase of this project.