MAHARASHTRA Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has thrown together big plans and even bigger funding for developing tourism attractions.
One such product is coal mine tours in regions like Wani in Yavatmal, Nagpur and Chandrapur, where visitors venture into operational coal mines led by accredited tour guides to learn about the process.
Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia, managing director, MTDC, said the tours will be launched “very soon” and required clearance from government ministries is on the way.
Travel agencies that TTG Asia e-Daily spoke to were optimistic about the potential of mining tourism, but highlighted the need for publicity.
Sudhir Patil, director, Veena World, said: “The mining tourism product (shows that) the state is thinking out of the box. We can achieve good (visitor) numbers, but it should be promoted in the right way by giving prominence to safety and security measures.”
Director of Grisbi Holidays, Alpa Gadoya, pointed out: "Tourism authorities must work to promote mining tourism as an experiential tourism product by clubbing together various other activities."
Maharashtra also intends to push its other attractions with US$8.6 million allocated for the integrated development, conservation and preservation of 10 forts in the state, while an Eco-Tourism Promotion Board is being established.
Other initiatives in the pipeline include beach tourism promotion, the development of a botanical garden in Ballarpur, and the launch of safari-style attractions modeled on Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and Gorewada Zoological Park & Rescue Center.