Mumbai: Nearly 11 years after the Centre set the ball rolling for Caravan Tourism, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday approved its own Caravan Tourism Policy to boost leisure travel and tourism in the state.
The policy comprises Caravan Parks and Caravan Tourism intended to help people take advantage and soak in the diverse natural beauty of state around the year.
The policy was approved at the cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, said an official.
"Caravan Tourism will add to the experiences offer by the government to the tourists," Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray said.
An official said that registration of caravans and caravan parks would be mandatory with the Directorate of Tourism.
The caravan and caravan park professionals shall be trained in marketing, hygiene, and management of the new niche sector through the Directorate of Tourism.
In September 2020, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation had released the Draft Policy seeking suggestions and objections from various stakeholders.
The government is optimistic that with Maharashtra's wide range of tourism options ranging from tall mountains to scenic sea beaches, imposing fortresses, heritage or pilgrimage sites, and thick forests with wildlife, Caravan Tourism will prove to be popular.
The caravans with single/twin axles, tent trailers, folding or camper trailers would have a kitchen, bed facilities, toilet, a living area and other amenities to make the journey smooth.
Private landowners or developers shall be allowed to set up Caravan Parks at designated sites with all necessary facilities including separate roads, water and electric connections, toilets, laundry, security and other requirements.
Caravan tours are presently available in India through a handful of private operators though a couple of other states like Karnataka have formulated policies for this type of tourism.
Presently, depending on the facilities, amenities and distances covered, caravans can be booked by individuals, families or groups for anything between Rs 5,000-30,000 per night.
The operators offer certain select destinations in west, north and central parts of India though the self-driving caravan option - as in western countries - is not yet available in the country.