Sep 28: Maharashtra celebrated the World Tourism Day on Sunday 27 September in grand style by inaugurating the first grape park in Nashik and the CM Uddhav Thackeray launching the first grape park resort developed by MTDC, writes Subhash Arora who believes it is an excellent step that will give a big boost to wine tourism and help increase tourist traffic and sale, awareness and promotion of wine
CM Thackeray inaugurated the Resort and the park from his official residence Varsha during a tourism e-function on Sunday. Developed by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation MTDC, the Resort is spread over 14.48 hectares near the Gangapur dam. The resort was constructed with an investment of $10 million and comprises four twin villas, 28 suites, restaurants and a boat club. Initially, 11 boats will be operated, on trial basis.
The state government chose Nashik, not only because it is a holy city on the banks of the Godavari river but also as it has emerged as the wine capital of India, with over 60% of the vineyards and wineries in India located in this belt.
The CM, Uddhav Thackeray who has been a professional photographer before he donned the mantle of his late father, Balasaheb Thackeray, said he had aerially photographed Maharashtra several times. Its beauty was phenomenal and ought to reach the world, adding that the endeavour of his government was to make the state the "number one tourist destination in the country". He said it was not just enough developing tourist sites but related infrastructure too has to be developed.
Thackeray also launched a data bank titled ''Maharashtra Tourism - Something for Everyone'', which contains information about tourism sites, pilgrim centres, agriculture tourism, UNESCO world heritage sites, airports, hotels, restaurants, resorts etc in the state.
During his stint as the tourism minister, Chhagan Bhujbal, now Food and Civil Supplies Minister had conceived the idea of a grape park resort. ‘The Grape Park Resort and Boat Club launched today, will give a big boost to tourism in Nashik. Many tourist spots in the area are being developed for visitors, so that they can spend more time instead of just going to pilgrimage spots, ancient temples or the wineries. Connectivity with Shirdi, Trimbakeshwar, Saptashrungigad and other tourist destinations has been enhanced,’ says the Guardian Minister for the District of Nashik.
Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray said his department has been working on many fronts to put Maharashtra on the global tourism map. ‘‘The Grape Park in Nashik, with its boat club, adds thrill to the scenic environs of the property,’’ he said, adding that the state government was not only providing fiscal incentives but also facilitating and supporting the tourism and hospitality sector on the policy and ease-of-doing business fronts.
The 2020 edition of World Tourism Day, with the theme of “Tourism and Rural Development”, was celebrated worldwide showcasing the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world.
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