The iconic Bombay High Court and Mumbai University buildings will now be open for tourists as part of Heritage Walks during weekends as the Maharashtra Tourism Department on Monday inked an agreement with respective authorities.
The Maharashtra Tourism Department signed a heritage tour memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bombay High Court and Mumbai University to allow tourists to visit these iconic buildings on non-working days -- Saturdays and Sundays, MTDC said on the occasion of the World Tourism Day.
While Mumbai University will be open for tourists on Sundays and public holidays, and the tour will be conducted by TOGA (Tourist Guide Association) guides, it added.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched a revamped multilingual website on Maharashtra tourism. It is available in 9 languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Telugu, French, Japanese and Spanish.
Speaking on the occasion, state Tourism, Environment and Protocol Minister Aaditya Thackeray said the emphasis on policy reforms and infrastructure development will put Maharashtra at the forefront of the world tourism map in the next few years.
"We have focussed on policy reform during the past year. It is believed that in the next few years, Maharashtra will be at the forefront of the world tourism map due to the efforts taken by the tourism department," Thackeray said at a function to mark World Tourism Day 2021.
To boost the sector, the Maharashtra government has brought down the number of applications and licences needed for setting up a tourism-related business to just 10 from the earlier 70-80, he added
Similarly, the no-objection certificates (NOCs) required were brought down to 9 self-certifications from the earlier 15 NOCs and 3-month timelines for issuance of different licences, among others, were introduced that will benefit the sector.
The government has also granted industry status to the tourism and hospitality sector, which was pending since 1999, the minister said.
"Basic tourism infrastructure is now on the fast track. Today, several major international five and seven-star hotels were interested in setting shop in various parts of Maharashtra. We will be holding several meetings to listen to stakeholders on improving Maharashtra tourism in the coming days," Thackeray said.
The minister added that the opening of the Chippi airport in October will give a major boost to tourism in the Konkan region.