Indian state aims to increase tourists from UAE and the Gulf - GulfToday

Indian state aims to increase tourists from UAE and the Gulf


Top officials during a press conference in Dubai on Monday.

The Indian state of Maharashtra’s Directorate of Tourism and Medical Value Travel Council of India (MVTCI) have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with the UAE and Oman in the Gulf to bring the West Indian state’s wellness and healthcare tourism offerings to citizens and residents in these countries.

Maharashtra is showcasing its culture and tourism potential, in addition to trade and commerce, as part of the presence in the India pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai. The state government aims to explore long-term collaborations with organisations in the UAE and the region in the areas of business, investment, trade, and medical tourism.

The state, home to the best clinical outcomes in India, is positioned itself as the national leader in healthcare services guiding hopeful patients towards a better clinical experience.

Speaking at a media round table in Dubai, Ms Aditi Tatkare, Honourable Minister of State Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, said, “The Government of Maharashtra provides world-class health amenities with 50 per cent lesser cost. We strive to provide quality, comfort and affordability in medical care.”

The Maharashtra Government’s Tourism Directorate and MVTCI have created a roadmap towards encouraging patients from foreign countries to seek out services in the State since the international travel market resumed recently.

Shri. Milind N Borikar, Director at the Tourism Directorate, said, “Maharashtra is the one-stop destination for end-to-end healthcare services and specialised healthcare providers, diligently creating a healthy ecosystem.”

The state of Maharashtra has been recently recognized at World Trade Mart – London for eco-village and tiger conservation projects, in addition to winning global responsible tourism awards, and the prestigious International Agro Tourism Award for having over 1000 Agri-Tourism centres.

Maharashtra attracts a very high share of domestic and foreign tourists visiting India owing to some of the most famous heritage destinations such as Ajanta and Ellora (Aurangabad) as well as the 720-kilometre coastline.

Maharashtra, where cities such as Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur are located, is well connected by roadways, railways, waterways and airways with a road length of over 300,000 kilometres; and with a railway density of 6,209.98 kilometres; 720 kilometres of coastline and 14 airports including three international airports. Maharashtra has the largest network of highways in India with 18 national highways of 17,757 kilometres in length. Maharashtra also has the maximum number of domestic and international airports.

Furthermore, Maharashtra has an attractive wildlife tourism potential with around 63 forest reserves, national parks and sanctuaries. The state also has the maximum number of UNESCO World heritage sites when compared to other Indian states.

Maharashtra is the most economically developed state of India with an economy of more than USD 400 billion. Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is the capital of the state. Maharashtra alone contributes more than 15 per cent to the GDP of India, more than 20 per cent to India’s export and has attracted almost 30 per cent of the nation’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) over the last two decades.

Under the Regional Tourism Development Scheme (RTDS), more than 250 destinations are being developed under which Maharashtra Tourism has already spent approximately 3,000 crores in the past five years, for various projects.

The state’s responsible tourism policy ensures optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. It also respects the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserving their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contributing to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.

Earlier on Thursday, Minister of Industries, Govt. of Maharashtra, Shri Subhash Desai said said that the state’s plans to become a trillion-dollar economy will see it play a bigger role in India’s growth story after attracting strong investments even during the Covid pandemic.

Inaugurating Maharashtra’s presence at the India Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai, the minister said,  “Maharashtra is the growth engine of the Indian economy, and we are ready to welcome the world from Expo 2020 Dubai. We look forward to signing many MoUs with prospective big corporates and governments”.

“Maharashtra is banking big on the investor fraternity as part of its participation in Dubai Expo. The state is expected to sign some key investment initiatives as well as bi-lateral agreements of economic corporation with strategic investment and country partners and is offering a series of support services through its industry department, where all the clearances and approvals are available at one platform,” he added.

“The state of Maharashtra didn’t stop during pandemic and continued to attract investments from across the globe. Corporates from various countries have signed agreements with Maharashtra to set up their units even during the COVID19 period,” Shri Desai added.

Maharashtra is the most attractive FDI destination in India and has attracted almost thirty per cent of total FDI flowing in the country from 2000 to 2021. During the pandemic, Maharashtra has attracted investments of around $27.5 billion (October 2019 to June 2021, as per DPIIT). The states’ contribution to India’s GDP is around 15% and it has a significate share in exports and employment generation for the country.

 “We are honoured, proud, and privileged to be a part of Dubai Expo 2020. It provides us with numerous opportunities to promote the state’s tourism from such a global platform. We will have strategic partnerships with Dubai and other International tourism companies to further strengthen and collaborate to promote tourism in our state,” Smt Tatkare said.

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