Published on : Friday, February 3, 2017
It was hinted by senior tourism officials that Maharashtra or Goa might be chosen as a special tourism zone in Western India. This was in response to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement in the Union Budget about the government’s plan to set up five special tourism zones in the country in the next financial year. Only one state from the west will be chosen for the zone in the western part of the country.
Officials from Maharashtra state department of tourism are trying to pitch the state to the ministry. Maharashtra’s chances as a contender for the west zone are bright. According to a senior ministry official from Maharashtra, “Though the creation of the five special tourism zones is still in its nascent stages, the chosen state should have regional representation and be the strongest possible contender in tourism in the region. A major tourism destination in the western part of the country will be chosen, depending on its popularity among tourists, availability of land and other factors.”
India west has a competitive landscape with four states – Goa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat as tourism hotspots. According to Maharashtra State director of tourism Satish Soni, the state has multiple types of tourist attractions along with long coastline of 720km along the lush green Konkan region. The Western Ghats and the Sahyadri mountain range offer hill stations and water reservoirs with semi-evergreen and deciduous forests. The Vidarbha region with its dense forests is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and nature parks. Also, Maharashtra has five tiger reserves, Bollywood and five world heritage sites. Hence, Maharashtra is a fitting contender for special tourism zone in the west.