‘Go local’, Vandana Chavan’s plan for tourism revival in Pune

The NCP Rajya Sabha MP said Pune has avenues for adventure, spiritual, nature, history and art tourism if the forts, temples, ancient caves, lakes and forests are developed.

Tourism, once called the evergreen sector, has been the worst hit during the Covid-19 pandemic with tour operators and others who depend on the industry at a loose end. In this scenario, Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan has initiated work for a master tourism plan for Pune focussing on short-distance travels.

Chavan, who has written to Pune Zilla Parishad’s CEO Ayush Prasad, said long-distance tours would take time to resume. “Promoting and encouraging local places would help restart the economy but for this we have to be prepared,” the NCP MP said.

The district, she pointed out, has avenues for adventure, spiritual, nature, history and art tourism. The forts, temples, ancient caves, lakes and forests have a huge scope but need to be developed.

“The ancient shrine of Bhimashankar is frequented during Shravan and Shivratri but lies idle in other times. We can develop and promote this place as a religious place as well as an adventure and nature tourism spot,” she said.

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Earlier this week, Chavan held a meeting at Dr Bhanuben Nanavati College of Architecture for women in Pune in which tour operators, adventure sports enthusiasts took part. It was decided that through public participation tourist spots would be listed out and extensive consultation would be held to finalise the list.

After this infrastructure analysis would be done in those areas to identify where more investment would be required. “Of course, this is a long drawn plan but we do hope that we will be able to draw a master plan and provide it to the government for further work,” she said.

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