"Developing Konkan Tourism is a prime focus" - Mrs Valsa Nair Singh at 'The Virtual Maritime India Summit'

Maharashtra Govt. has been pursuing multi-faceted tourism initiatives to boost tourism in the state. Mrs Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary -Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra underlined the need for maintaining the sustainability of coastal tourism with high return of investment during a session on 'Investment Opportunities in Maharashtra' at 'The Virtual Maritime India Summit' on 2nd March, 2021.

During the session, Mrs Nair puts spotlight on promoting, developing and harnessing the potential of Coastal and Beach tourism and emphasized on growing the Blue Economy in a sustainable and inclusive manner in Konkan. She also highlighted some of the achievements and initiatives undertaken by Maharashtra Govt. towards sustainable coastal tourism in Konkan which include:

- Maharashtra State ranks No. 1 in India in Tourism
- Industry status is granted to Hospitality recently and will be implemented from 1st April, 2021
- To reach Konkan Coast, one can travel by air, water, rail, and roadways.
- The first tourist district in the country lies in Konkan i.e. Sindhudurg district
- Special incentives provided to the Special Tourism District under the Maharashtra Tourism Policy
- Development of Tarkarli as a tourist destination and construction of tourist accommodation (1989)
- Encouragement to Bed & Breakfast scheme in the region, to promote home-stays and local economy (1996)
- Successful implementation of Beach Shack Policy (2020), Agri-Tourism Policy (2020) & Caravan Policy (2021)
- Public-Private partnership model for MTDC resorts/open lands
- Inauguration stage of airport at Chipi (proposed in 2021)
- Ease of doing business – Licenses reduced from 70 to 10 (2021)
- 3000 Cr Investment MoUs (6000 employment generation) (2021) was recently announced
- Investment MoU signed in Sindhudurg with Taj group, at Shiroda, Velgar and Fomento Resorts Pvt. Ltd., at Aravali Beach
- World-class scuba diving centre, namely Indian Institute of Scuba Diving and Aquatic Sports (IISDA) is operating successfully in Tarkarli, Sindhudurg
- MoU incentives for resort and golf course under Tourism policy to Morve and Munge in Devgad

Mrs. Nair also highlighted the initiatives undertaken to promote tourism in the Konkan region including Beach Shacks & Facilities, Swadesh Darshan Scheme and RTDS Projects in Konkan.

The Beach Shack policy will allow setting up of 10 temporary beach shacks on each beach along the Konkan coast. Eight beaches were identified during the First Phase of Implementation of this policy.
Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, development of theme based Sindhudurg Coastal Circuit is 90% complete and it is expected to be fully completed by May 2021.

She stated, "Petrogylps of Ratnagiri are one of the oldest in Maharashtra (10000 BC) and the experts believe that they were created in pre-historic times and possibly among the oldest ever discovered."
Mrs Valsa Nair Singh also presented unique and potential concepts for development of tourism in Konkan that include:

- Fishing Units, Processing Units, Handicraft, Floating houses, Local Cuisine at Integrated Fishing Village
- Ropeways, Heritage Museum, Light House excursion, Light and Sound shows at Heritage Sea Ports
- Underwater Sports, Water sports, Resorts, Laser shows for Island Development
- Maratha Theme-based cruises, Sound and Laser shows, Rendition of Maratha Empire Journey, Open Air Theatre, Cuisine at Fort Circuits
- Velas/ Anjarle Turtle Festival, Murud Janjira Festival – A global event, Mango Festival, Chikoo Festival, Katalshilp Mohotsav, Sagareshwar Beach Festival, Shrivardhan Mohotsav, Beach Nights and Festivals to celebrate Konkan culture, seasons and flora fauna

Maharashtra is endowed with natural beauty and a diverse tourist attractions. Coastal regions in Maharashtra have been great attractions for domestic and international tourists. The state's 720-km-long coastline is rapidly emerging as a prime destination for those seeking water sports and adventure tourism.
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