MTDC's Mahabhraman to walk the non-traditional path

Written by Prachi Karnik Pradhan | Mumbai | Updated: Feb 4 2008, 05:12am hrs
Next time you visit Maharashtra, you will have a bouquet of novel packages to choose fromfarmers lifestyle, rock-faces of Sahyadri, whistling winds of forests, roaring mighty rivers, mysterious life under the sea etc.

For, the state government-run Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has joined hands with several tour operators, agri-tourism entities, resort owners to promote Maharashtra as a tourist destination in a big way.

Recently, MTDC launched Mahabhraman, an initiative to rope in private tour operators like Raja Rani Travels Private Limited, Sachin Travels and Kesari Tours Private Ltd, said MTDC joint managing director, Abhay Yawalkar. Mahabhraman aims at experimenting with novel, non-traditional, concepts of tourism, he added.

Amongst tour facilitators, MTDC has already tied up with Tiger Trails, Nature Trails, Konkan Tours Limited, Kondan Udyog Paryatan Sansthan, Konkan Paryatan Trust, Agri Tourism, Eco Mantra and Nisarga Vihar Limited to promote packages related to agriculture, nature, adventure sports, historical and archaeological heritage, arts, crafts, food and beverage, customs and traditions and lifestyle offered by the registered service providers.

Yawalkar said tour operators and tour facilitators could register themselves as partners in this initiative. We are working towards making the tourism industry conservation-oriented rather than consumption-oriented, he added. MTDC would extensively undertake special programmes, campaigns for promotion and booking of the tours operated by private players. The private-MTDC partnership will be on barter basis, said Yawalkar.

Initially, MTDC intends to promote about 350 tour packages. It also proposes to introduce 1,000 new packages by next year, said Yawalkar. He further noted that MTDC was working with Kesari, Raja Rani and Sachin travels to design customised eco-friendly packages.

Some of the enterprising farmers and groups as well as NGOs are experimenting on novel and unique concepts of tourism highlighting the multifaceted character of Maharashtra showcasing farmers lifestyle, rock-faces of Sahyadri, whistling winds of forests, roaring mighty rivers, mysterious and colourful life under the sea, the arts, crafts, fairs and festivals, said another MTDC official.

Mahabhraman is aimed at bringing farmers, small entrepreneurs and NGOs together and to give them one platform. It will help increase the turnover of the service provider implying more profit and contribution towards development of state tourism, said the official.