Mumbai: With the tourism sector expected to pick up after COVID-19, the Maharashtra government has introduced sector-friendly policies to enable entrepreneurs to celebrate the state with the rest of the world, Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said on Wednesday.
“The hospitality, tourism and travel sector is one that will take off very well right after COVID-19, as people after working from home would want to step out,” Thackeray said while speaking at a webinar organised by OYO- ‘OYO Samvaad‘.
He added that during the lockdown, the government’s focus has been to introduce sector-friendly policies to enable entrepreneurs and boost tourism.
The minister said the state government is planning to open up the Wankhede Stadium for tourists in January in line with the international cricket stadiums like the Lords, where cricket fans can visit and see where the great cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar have played matches.
“Besides the Wankhede Stadium, we are also planning to open up the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Bombay High Court, which has a rich history, for the tourists,” he said in the webinar.
Maharashtra is a land of enormous opportunity for the travel and hospitality sector in terms of generating opportunities for employment and bringing revenue to the state, Thackeray said. The government will continue to introduce multi-pronged tourism policies to bring a world-class experience to the tourists visiting the state, he added.
Maharashtra Principal Secretary (Tourism and Culture) Valsa Nair Singh, who was present on the occasion, said the state government has taken some major decisions recently to boost tourism in the state and has plans to announce some new proposals shortly.
“While introducing health, safety and hygiene protocols in the state’s hospitality sector, we took in the suggestions and recommendations by the hospitality chain OYO Hotels and Homes. We would like to collaborate and close work with OYO to motivate entrepreneurs to open more hotels, attracting tourists and travellers looking for an affordable stay,” she added.
Highlighting the company’s plans to strengthen its footprint in the state, OYO Hotels and Homes founder and Group CEO Ritesh Agarwal said Maharashtra is an important market for the company.
“We have generated over 5,000 employment opportunities in the state and are excited to tap into the potential of the tourism sector in the state. We, along with hundreds of our hotel partners, look forward to delivering a safe, secure and comfortable experience to the travellers,” Agarwal added.
Currently, OYO operates in over 800 cities in 80 countries, including the US, Europe, the UK, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan.