MAHARASHTRA TOURISM Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Friday said the state government would set up an airport in Palghar, considering that the Mumbai airport is being used to its full potential while the Navi Mumbai airport, which will be operational in future, might be insufficient to cater to requirements.
Thackeray added while a decision on the Konkan Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) is expected to be taken by January, steps are being taken to set up a Bollywood and cricket museum in Mumbai.
He made the announcement at a tourism conclave, organised by Loksatta, the Marathi daily of The Indian Express group, to discuss the development opportunities of the tourism sector in the state. Puneet Chhatwal, Chairman-CII National Committee On Tourism & Hospitality and MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company Ltd was present as a special guest.
Thackeray, who inaugurated the conclave, also discussed various schemes being implemented by the government for the growth of tourism in the state. “Compared to the facilities available in Mumbai, Palghar has less facilities and more attention is being given there. In future, there will be a lot of strain on the Mumbai and the Navi Mumbai airports and another airport is needed. Considering the period of few years required to develop a new airport, planning has already started for the construction of an airport at Palghar,” he said.
He noted that the government is considering setting up a cricket museum at the Wankhede stadium and the search is on to find a suitable location for setting up a Bollywood museum.
“Even though everything was stalled due to Covid restrictions, a number of policy decisions were taken and tourism policy was formulated in consultation with all the stakeholders on how to develop the tourism industry (in the state) in the next few years. It has been decided recently to keep the CRZ area in Mumbai up to 50 meters and a decision is expected to be taken by January regarding Konkan CRZ,” Thackeray said. “In many important cities of the world, life goes on 24 hours a day. Therefore, it is important to have ‘Mumbai 24 Hours’ all day of the week,” he said.
Chhatwal said the tourism sector, which had zero income during the Covid period, is now booming.
“Other countries have not yet opened their doors to tourism. This is currently benefiting the tourism sector in India. Therefore, at present, there is 100 per cent booking in hotels all over the country. It is said to be a kind of ‘revenge’ tourism. But, people are coming out for their happiness,” he said, while thanking Thackeray for according industry status to hospitality sector and reducing the number of permissions required for it.
Title Sponsor: Directorate of Tourism, Maharashtra; Supported by: Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC); Corporate Partner: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)