Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Industry, govt plan for 'Brand Aurangabad' - Source The Times Of India

Various organisations and sectors including industrialists, social activists and the government joined hands on Tuesday to chalk out an effective programme to promote tourism in Marathwada. They discussed means of highlighting the monuments and historical places, so that Aurangabad becomes one of the most sought after tourist destinations.

Rishi Kumar Bagla, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Marathwada zonal council, stressed that a district tourism forum be set up to ensure that activities which boost tourism are carried out consistently. He said, "Though the chief minister declared Aurangabad a tourism capital a few years back, nothing much has happened. Steps need to be initiated to help build the Aurangabad brand."

He urged the district collector to plan the Ellora festival a year in advance and emphasised on introducing tourism police at all heritage sites. He also urged the collector to start a single window ticket system to avoid discomfort to tourists visiting the city. He said that like many places across the world, a heritage street should be developed in the city too.

Another CII member, Prashant Deshpande, said, "Despite aggressive marketing of the city, desired results are still awaited. A strategy needs to be planned that would revolve around multiple tourism sites, from heritage to religious, medical and integrated tourism."

He said the single ticket system would help maintain the current status of all monuments and tourists' inflow.

Regarding facilities and challenges, Deshpande said marketing of Aurangabad, infrastructure development and role of stakeholders, government, private players and the public needs to be better coordinated.

Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage ( Intach) member and architect, Ajay Kulkarni, suggested development of potential night tourism activities, pedestrian plazas, food malls, performing arts in order to promote local art and festivals through the year to help display cultural activities. He also said that monuments should be illuminated so that one can have a walk by night.

"A parallel city should be developed and the old city should be preserved. New trends should be introduced by retaining old monuments," he said, adding, "The city which boasted of 52 gates, has only 13 gates intact. Aurangabad lacks urban spaces. The city should be made to look vibrant and alive." He said that the Kham river, which is the spine of the city, should be designed in such a way that a walk way can be developed alongside its banks.

Reacting to Kulkarni's suggestion, former president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developer's Associations of India (Credai), Pramod Khairnar said that the builders association would extend all support to develop, conserve and restore the river.

President of the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (Maccia), Ramchandra Bhogale, said that there is a need to look into the basic factors while promoting and developing a the Aurangabad brand. "Money should be invested in training service sectors," he said, adding, "Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries and is a major source of income for many countries. Being a people-oriented industry, tourism also provides many jobs which helps revitalise local economies."

"Both local and international tourism should get equal focus. Subsidies should be provided to set up small shops, eatery joints and training should be provided to the shop owners to keep the ambience clean and hygienic," he said.

Tour operators and travel agents in the city stressed that connectivity to the city should be improved. "Poor connectivity is resulting in charging tourists more, leading to some dropping Aurangabad from their travel list." They also said that medical facilities should be made available at tourism sites.

Ulhas Gawli, former president of the Chamber of Marathwada Industries (CMIA), said, "There are many who are not aware of the rich heritage of the city. There are also many lesser known monuments which need to be explored."

He said that the government's role needs to be redefined. "The proposal of establishing Aurangabad Tourism Development Authority has been pending with the government since the last two decades."

President of the CMIA, Milind Kank, said, "Though there are many challenges to be tackled, each citizen should help in promotional activities on an individual level."

He offered to sponsor some artists of Kalagram - a state government venture for promotion of local art launched in Aurangabad few years back, and urged others to do the same.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) senior regional manager, Shekhar Jaiswal, claimed, "The number of tourists has increased fourfold in the last 20 years. Certain changes need to be brought in."

Kulkarni said, "Technology should be used to preserve streetscapes. It is time we learnt a lesson from Bidar, which is witness to a brutal monument surgery. NGOs and citizens must contribute. Government alone cannot do it. We need to restore almost 2,000 monuments and in the last five years we have been able to restore only seven."

1 comment:

  1. Aurangabad is one of the tourist attraction in Maharashtra. It has been concluded that the number of tourist in these years has been increased, these will also helpful for not only tourism sector but also all the other sector.

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