Hrawi Submits Recommendations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism & Culture
Proposes Unlocking Maharashtra's Tourism Potential with Focus on Developing Niche, Theme Based Tourism Circuits in Aurangabad & Sindhudurg Mumbai, July 17: A delegation of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) appeared before the
Proposes Unlocking Maharashtra’s Tourism Potential with Focus on Developing Niche, Theme Based Tourism Circuits in Aurangabad & Sindhudurg
Mumbai, July 17: A delegation of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Transport, Tourism & Culture chaired by Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy on their study visit to Mumbai recently and submitted its recommendations to unlock the tourism potential in the State with special focus on developing tourism circuits in Aurangabad and Sindhudurg.
“We thank the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism & Culture and India Tourism for giving us the opportunity to represent ourselves on behalf of the hospitality industry. We request the Government for special focus on developing tourism circuits in Aurangabad and Sindhudurg. Aurangabad is popular for Buddhist cave monuments in Ajanta and Ellora and is a significant learning and cultural centre for Buddhists. To unlock its full tourism potential, it requires improved connectivity within the Buddhist circuit to Varanasi or Bodh Gaya. Five years ago, from Aurangabad we had flights connecting 7 to 8 destinations, but now we are limited to only two major metros that too with insufficient frequency. The connectivity must expand to more destinations, including reinstating the extension of the Golden Triangle route from Jaipur to Aurangabad. This will unlock the potential for tourists who wish to visit Aurangabad but are hindered by the lack of adequate connectivity. The hotel industry has witnessed a significant decline in the past five years, with revenues being severely impacted by the aforementioned issues and lack of connectivity,”Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI
“Exploring the untapped potential of the coastline of South Maharashtra is highly anticipated by the hospitality industry especially, with the recent opening of the Mopa Airport in North Goa. However, connectivity remains a persistent challenge, making travel from Maharashtra or Goa cumbersome. Considering the enormous potential and as a perfect destination for beach tourism, the development of Sindhudurg as an extension of Goa tourism should be seriously considered,”Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI
For promoting niche tourism, including spiritual tourism in Maharashtra, HRAWI has pitched for establishing well-planned spiritual centres and retreats across picturesque locations including Nashik, Pune and Aurangabad. It has also shared ideas for promoting religious and cultural festivals such as the Kumbh Mela, Wari and Ganesh Chaturthi, among other festivals through effective marketing campaigns.
“There are certain destinations in the State that hold immense historical and spiritual significance. Encouraging local communities to preserve and showcase traditional arts, crafts and music, will offer tourists an authentic spiritual experience. The development of well-defined, theme-based tourist circuits can enhance the overall visitor experience and encourage tourists to explore the State further,”Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI
The Association has mapped out various regions in Maharashtra to identify the destinations as part of dedicated tourism circuits. HRAWI has proposed for historically significant places like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Raigad Fort and the Gateway of India, among others to be included in the Heritage circuit. Connect the several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries including the Pench Tiger Reserve and Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve to create an attractive wildlife tourism circuit. Likewise, creating a coastal circuit, covering destinations like Alibag, Harihareshwar and Tarkarli will help boost beach tourism and with effective conservation measures, the Western Ghats and the Konkan belt can be developed into eco-tourism destinations for attracting nature enthusiasts.
HRAWI also appraised the PSC about the lack of a long-term lending policy which poses a major challenge to the industry, and requested that projects required to augment the tourism infrastructure be included in the list for funding under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). The Association also suggested formulating a national policy for granting industry status to the sector and incorporating tourism in the concurrent list of the constitution.
“The hospitality industry is a significant contributor to employment and GDP, accounting for about 9 per cent of employment and about 8 per cent of the GDP in the country. However, hospitality projects’ ROI takes around 15 years and the lack of a long-term lending policy for the sector poses a major challenge. The State has recently accorded industry status to hospitality however, we suggest that a national policy be formulated, granting industry status to the hotel sector and incorporating tourism in the concurrent list of the constitution. We also propose the inclusion of hospitality and tourism projects in the NIP to address the long-term lending challenges. By incorporating projects related to hotel guestrooms, convention and exhibition centres, airport infrastructure, roads and last mile connectivity to popular tourist centres, the funding and development of tourism infrastructure can be effectively augmented. We urge that these projects be added to the existing list of 7400 infrastructure projects identified under the NIP,”Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture chaired by Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy held discussions on ‘Development of niche tourism including spiritual tourism, theme-based tourist circuits and potential tourist spots’ in the State of Maharashtra during his study visit to Mumbai on July 05 and July 06, 2023. HRAWI delegates appeared before the committee and submitted their recommendations during the event.
Members of Parliaments – Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Mr A A Rahim, Mr Vinay Dinu Tendulkar, Mr Tapir Gao, Mr Rahul Kaswan, Mr Sunil Baburao Mendhe, Mr Cheddi Paswan, Mr Ramdas Chandrabhan ji Tadas, Mr Krupal Balaji Tumane and Mr Tirathsingh Ravat and Parliament Secretariats – Mr. Swarabji, Mrs. Monica Baa, Mrs. Shubha Chandra Shekhar, Mr. Kaustubh Sudhakar Bhalekar, Mr Satishkumar and K. V. Venugopal Rao were present in the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee meeting. The representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, GoI; Dept. of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra were also present at the event.
About Hotel & Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI)
The Hotel and Restaurant Association (Western India) is a 72 years old Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Western India. Its members include Restaurants and Hotels up to 5-Star Deluxe categories. With membership base spread across Western India, HRAWI covers Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, and is considered to be the voice of the Hotel Industry. The association is part of the national body of Federation of the Hotels & Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI), located in New Delhi, which was originally founded in Mumbai in 1950 by the late Mr J.R.D. Tata.