Maharashtra Government will provide financial assistance of upto Rs 50 lakh to persons who wish to set up their tourism business under its Start Up scheme. This was announced by Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra. She added, “The coming two years are very important for the progress and prosperity of the tourism sector. The year 2017 will be celebrated as Visit Maharashtra Year and the year 2018 we will be celebrating completion of 200 years of the discovery of the world heritage Ajanta Caves by British officer John Smith. A campaign to promote tourism destinations of Maharashtra all over the world will be undertaken aggressively under Visit Maharashtra 2017. In 2018, many events will be hosted to attract international and domestic tourists to Ajanta and other destinations of the city. There is a huge scope to organise Food Festival and Handicraft Festival in the city, apart from Golf Tourism. A proposal to set up Buddhist Centre on MTDC’s 900 acres land at Ellora is under consideration.”
The three-day Ellora-Ajanta Festival will be held with the help of the MTDC from October 14 to 16, said the principal secretary suggesting the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation to run an excursion bus to conduct City Tours connecting all the tourist places. She also underlined the need of enhancing the air connectivity of Aurangabad with cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Nagpur and Pune other than Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
Mentioning the need for hosting film shootings at Ellora, Ajanta and other important places in Aurangabad, Smt. Valsa Nair Singh commented “The countries like Switzerland and Spain witnessed a boom in tourism due to film shootings. A beeline was formed to see the tomb of Mastani due to Bajirao Mastani film. The shooting of one big budget film featuring big stars like Shah Rukh Khan in Aurangabad will give a major boost to the tourism sector.”