Maharashtra aims to strike gold with ‘mining tourism’

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Mumbai | Published: June 7, 2015 12:01:46 AM

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation also plans to launch mobile app for upcoming Kumbh Mela in Nashik.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is all set to introduce mining tourism for the first time in the country. In a new development, MTDC has signed up with Western Coalfields to introduce a mining tourism package from October this year. Initially, the tours will be launched in the coal mines of Yavatmal and Chandrapur near Nagpur. Many countries including the US, Chile and Brazil already have such mining tours, which are quite popular among tourists.

Paraag Jaiin Nainutiia, managing director, MTDC, said, “In October, we will be launching mining tourism for the first time in the country. In the beginning, we will introduce a package only for male tourists who are aged over 18 years. Later, after a period of testing, we will also introduce tours for women travellers. This tour is strictly restricted for adults though, as it may not be suitable for children.”

MTDC is also in talks with Manganese Ore India to launch similar tours in Nagpur. When asked about the pricing of the package, Nainutiia said although it is yet to be finalised, it will be nominal. The mining tourism package can also be clubbed with other nearby destinations, and travellers can stay at the MTDC resort in Tadoba, he added.

Meanwhile, the MTDC is all set to launch an exclusive mobile application for the upcoming Kumbh Mela in Nashik, commencing from July 14, and will continue for a year ending on August 11, 2016. The new app will be launched sometime in June. MTDC has invested around R5 lakh to develop this new app.

Nainutiia said: “We have lakhs of people visiting the Kumbh Mela. The objective of launching an exclusive application is to facilitate the people with all the information regarding the event. We are also trying to work out an offline map facility, so that the tourists can easily access the map even without Internet.”

Also, to create further movement of tourists in and around Nashik, MTDC will be launching a boat club at Gangapur Dam near Nashik by June 15 this year. Nainutiia said, “We are in the final stage of completion of the boat club at Gangapur near Nashik. The boat club will have some facilities like boating, cycling and trekking. The boat club can be used by tourists after attending the Kumbh Mela.”

MTDC is in talks with local tour operators and the Tour Operators’ Association of Nashik to further

increase the tour options and create packages. Also, they have launched an exclusive brochure for destinations which are three to four hours from Nashik. Speaking about the new

facilitates, Nainutiia said, “We are branding this Kumbh Mela as ‘Harith Kumbh Mela’. This year, MTDC will have mascots of legends at the Kumbh Mela venue, where people can click pictures with them. We will also host a few cultural events to entertain the

people.We have identified more than 100 trekking route options near Nashik and we will tie up with the Trekking Association of Nashik for guides.”

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