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Govt keen to provide optimal facilities for tourists: Tourism Minister of Maharashtra

The Directorate of Tourism (DoT), Government of Maharashtra, in association with Mumbai Festival 2024, hosted a dynamic Tourism Conclave, bringing together distinguished industry leaders, experts, and policy-makers to delve into global tourism opportunities and deliberate on sustainable practices within the tourism sector.

The Conclave featured substantive discussions, presentations, and networking sessions focused on the strategic development of Mumbai’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, events, wedding industry, tourism, hotels, and venues.

The Conclave is an integral part of the festival, fostering a robust discussion on sustainable practices in the tourism industry. It underscored the city’s dedication to responsible travel and environmental conservation. The Conclave provided a crucial platform for policy-makers, analysts, and industry leaders to explore the transformative potential of Mumbai’s tourism. Keynote speakers, such as Girish Mahajan, the Tourism Minister of Maharashtra, and Dia Mirza, Global Ambassador for the UNSDGs, highlighted the importance of sustainable tourism, aligning Mumbai’s objectives with global initiatives.

Sustainability advocates like Umit Bhatia of JLL and industry pioneers such as Prashant Pitti of EaseMyTrip shared insightful perspectives, collectively envisioning the future of Mumbai’s tourism. The discussions were further enhanced by contributions from leaders at renowned organisations, including Hyatt Hotels Corporation, PwC, Thomas Cook, IHCL, SOTC, and Sterling Holidays, reflecting a commitment to driving sustainable growth and innovation in Mumbai’s tourism landscape.

Girish Mahajan, Tourism Minister of Maharashtra, said, “Reviving the Mumbai Festival in 2024 marks a significant step towards elevating Maharashtra’s tourism sector. With a 720 km coastline, forts, forests, mountains, and beaches, our state offers everything for a memorable experience. Tourism is pivotal in realising PM Modi’s vision of a 5 trillion economy by 2030. Furthermore, it emphasises the need for green and sustainable tourism, urging collective efforts to make Maharashtra the best global destination. Let’s prioritise cleanliness, convenience, and quality guiding systems to enhance the appeal of our motherland to international tourists.”

During her welcome address, Jayashree Bhoj, Secretary of Tourism, Govt of Maharashtra, said, “Maharashtra is at the forefront of sustainable tourism, emphasising responsible practices and gender-inclusive policies. The state promotes sustainability through collaborations with international entities and innovative initiatives, such as all-women-run resorts, enhancing responsible tourism practices and experiences. The commitment is evident through collaborations, green designs, and an upcoming policy underscoring our dedication to responsible and sustainable tourism. Join us in showcasing the diverse beauty of Mumbai and Maharashtra globally. Let’s make Maharashtra a beacon of tourism excellence, achievable only with your invaluable support.”

While addressing the event, Dia Mirza, Global Ambassador UN Secretary-General for the UNSDGs, said, “With the launch of the ‘Travel for LIFE’ program by the Ministry of Tourism on World Tourism Day, India takes a bold step towards sustainable tourism. By fostering awareness and encouraging mindful practices, we align tourism with nature, addressing the triple planetary crisis. Let us embrace this initiative, knowing that we can preserve our rich heritage and biodiversity through conscious choices and build a thriving, sustainable future for tourism and our planet. Together, we can turn the tide towards a harmonious coexistence with nature. The journey begins here in India, setting a positive example for the world.”

While addressing the Tourism Conclave, Wiz Sabbas Joseph said, “Tomorrow’s Startup Challenge, led by the Minister of Tourism, marks a pivotal moment in the entrepreneurial landscape. With a funding of up to USD 500,000 investment for the winning startup, the event underscores India’s commitment to fostering innovation. As we celebrate 100 years of the Gateway of India, the festival highlights unsung heroes, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It’s a call for collective action, urging government, corporations, and celebrities to make sustainable strides, emphasising the urgency as we and the world lag behind the halfway mark in achieving these global goals.”

Dietmar Kielnhofer, General Manager and Area Vice President, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, said, “I am thrilled to commemorate the remarkable 20-year journey of Grand Hyatt Mumbai. This milestone is a true reflection of our team’s unwavering dedication and the steadfast support of our cherished guests. As the favoured choice for luxury hospitality in Mumbai, we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to craft unforgettable experiences. In honouring this significant occasion, it brings me great joy to announce our collaboration with the inaugural Mumbai Festival, reinforcing our commitment to showcasing Mumbai as a premier destination. This partnership aims to amplify the city’s allure and highlight its cultural richness. We are excited about weaving the festival’s spirit into our celebrations, ensuring an even more memorable experience for our valued guests.”

Dr. B N Patil, Director, Directorate of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, delivered the vote of thanks.

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