New Delhi: Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, has written to Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, K.J. Alphons, and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, for developing Maharashtra coast as a tourist hotspot.
He said that the marine leisure sector is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and growth of the cruise ship industry, seaside destination resorts, marine parks, scuba diving and aquariums. India, with a coastline of 7500 km., has tremendous potential for development in this sector.
Commerce Minister said that the Ministry has received a proposal from the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and Indian Institute of Scuba Diving and Aquatic Sports (IISDA) Malwan, Sindhudurg, for a comprehensive plan to encourage marine tourism along the coast of Maharashtra.
The proposal includes the development of scuba diving and domestic cruise tourism destinations at Angria Bank, underwater tourism of global standards, submarine tourism in Sindhudurg, setting up India’s largest aquarium in Sindhudurg to create awareness about marine biodiversity and strengthening IISDA as an accredited Institute for innovation and skill development in the aquatic tourism sector.
The Commerce Minister said that this proposal will complement the Tourism Ministry’s initiative for the development of coastal circuit in Sindhudurg to be executed through Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation for which an amount of Rs. 82.17 Cr. has already been sanctioned. Commerce Minister has requested Alphons and Chief Minister of Maharashtra to consider the proposal for early action under the Champion Sector Initiative.
In February 2018, Union Cabinet had decided to give focused attention to 12 champion services sectors and mandated the identified nodal Ministries and Departments to formulate sectoral action plans under the dedicated fund of Rs. 5000 Crore. Ministry of Tourism has been identified as the nodal Ministry for the Tourism and Hospitality Champion Service Sector.