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MP Vandana Chavan’s plan to revive Pune’s struggling tourism sector: ‘Go local’

MP Vandana Chavan, who has written to Pune Zilla Parishad’s CEO Ayush Prasad, said long-distance tours would take time to resume. "Promoting and encouraging local places would help restart the economy but for this we have to be prepared,” she said.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: June 11, 2021 10:13:35 am
Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan at Parliament. (Express Photo/File)

Tourism, once called the evergreen sector, has been the worst hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, with tour operators and others who depend on the industry facing mounting losses. In this scenario, Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan has started working towards a ‘master tourism plan’ for Pune that focusses on short-distance trips.

Chavan, who has written to Pune Zilla Parishad’s CEO Ayush Prasad, said long-distance tours would take time to resume. “Promoting and encouraging local places would help restart the economy but for this we have to be prepared,” said the NCP MP.

The district, she pointed out, has avenues for adventure, spiritual, nature, history and art tourism. The forts, temples, ancient caves, lakes and forests have huge potential for tourism but they need to be developed as more tourist-friendly destinations.

“The ancient shrine of Bhimashankar is frequented during Shravan and Shivratri but lies idle in other times. We can develop and promote this place as a religious place as well as an adventure and nature tourism spot,” she said.

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Earlier this week, Chavan held a meeting at Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for women in Pune, in which tour operators and adventure sports enthusiasts took part. It was decided that through public participation, tourist spots would be listed out and extensive consultation would be held to finalise the list.

After this, infrastructure analysis would be conducted in these areas to identify where more investment would be required. “Of course, this is a long-drawn plan but we do hope that we will be able to draw a master plan and provide it to the government for further work,” she said.

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