HRAWI Submits Recommendations To The Parliamentary Standing Committee On Transport, Tourism & Culture

HRAWI Submits Recommendations To The Parliamentary  Standing Committee On Transport, Tourism & Culture

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 request the Government for special focus on developing tourism circuits in Aurangabad and Sindhudurg. 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. 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,” says Mr Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI.

HRAWI has pitched for establishing well-planned spiritual centres and retreats across picturesque locations including Nashik, Pune and Aurangabad. Promoting religious and cultural festivals such as the Kumbh Mela, Wari and Ganesh Chaturthi through effective marketing campaigns.

HRAWI has proposed for historically significant places like the Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Raigad Fort and the Gateway of India 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 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 hospitality industry is a significant contributor to employment and GDP, accounting for about 9% of employment and about 8% 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,” concludes Mr Shetty.

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.