Maharashtra Tourism woos travellers and investors from Japan

The Maharashtra Tourism delegation, led by Mr. Girish Mahajan, Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Maharashtra, Mrs. Radhika Rastogi, IAS Principal Secretary Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra, and Dr. B.N. Patil, IAS Director, Directorate of Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra, embarked on a successful journey to Japan, fostering cultural exchange and strengthening tourism ties between Maharashtra and Japan. The delegation participated in the India Mela at Kobe, followed by impactful meetings and road shows across Shirahama, Okayama, and Osaka from October 7 to 11, 2023.

The Maharashtra Tourism delegation actively engaged in the India Mela at Kobe, organized by the Indian Consulate in Osaka-Kobe, Japan, from 7th to 9th October 2023, and interacted with the Indian Consulate in Kobe and met with Mr. Nikhilesh Giri, Consul General of India at Osaka-Kobe. The state showcased its rich heritage and culture through a booth space. A cultural troupe from Maharashtra mesmerized the audience with Lavani, Kohli dance, regional drama, and folk performances. The consumer-driven event attracted over 3,000 Japanese visitors, creating widespread interest in Maharashtra as a prime tourism destination. The dissemination of promotional material further fueled curiosity, with many visitors expressing their intent to visit Maharashtra soon.

On 9th October 2023, a strategic discussion was held in Shirahama, where the Maharashtra Tourism delegation engaged with Mr. Taniguchi, Vice President of Wakayama Wrestling Association and the local MLA of Shirahama. Discussions centered around exploring the exchange of wrestlers between Wakayama and Maharashtra, aiming to boost Sports Tourism in the state. The delegation visited Adventure World in Shirahama on the same day, engaging in a significant meeting with Mr. Takahama, Chief Manager of Adventure World. Adventure World houses various kinds of rare animals and features many tours and attractions. The primary objective was to gain insights into the operational model of the park with the potential of developing similar theme parks in Maharashtra. The meeting, which was also attended by Mr. Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister for Forests, Cultural Affairs, and Fisheries, Government of Maharashtra, marked a crucial step in enhancing the tourism landscape in Maharashtra.

Discussions with Mr. Kishimoto Shuhei, Governor of Wakayama Prefecture on the 10th of October 2023 centered around the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) previously signed between Maharashtra and Wakayama to foster tourism promotion and exchange. This strategic partnership aims to strengthen cultural, tourism, and economic ties between the two regions, offering exciting opportunities for mutual growth. The Maharashtra Tourism Delegation extended a warm invitation to Mr. Omori, Mayor of Okayama city, and Councillors for the forthcoming Mumbai Festival in January 2024. The Councillors expressed a keen interest in private investments within the tourism sector, signifying their desire to explore new avenues of economic collaboration. The occasion also witnessed a warm welcome by the Okayama India Friendship Association President, Mr. Moriyama, who was keen to strengthen diplomatic ties.

On 11th October 2023, a significant Road Show unfolded in Okayama, bringing together Chamber of Commerce members, industrialists, and tourist companies. Mr. Girish Mahajan, Minister for Tourism, Maharashtra delivered an engaging address, followed by insightful presentations from Dr. B.N. Patil, IAS Director, Directorate of Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra, and Mrs. Radhika Rastogi, IAS Principal Secretary Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra. Discussions revolved around Maharashtra’s diverse and captivating tourism prospects, fostering stronger connections and exploring collaborations between Okayama and Maharashtra. There was a Road Show in Osaka wherein travel agents and tour operators were invited, and introduced to the wonders of Maharashtra. Dr. B.N. Patil, IAS Director, Directorate of Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra, commenced the event with an engaging presentation that showcased the appeal of Maharashtra’s diverse attractions to Japanese travelers, particularly the Buddhist circuit, forts, wildlife, and hill stations. Mr. Girish Mahajan, Minister for Tourism, Maharashtra, emphasized the government’s dedication to promoting tourism and encouraging collaborations with local businesses. An interactive quiz, hosted by Mrs. Radhika Rastogi, IAS Principal Secretary of Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra, tested the audience’s knowledge of Maharashtra’s culture and landmarks. This not only educated but also engaged the attendees. Subsequently, B2B interactions offered a platform for participants to explore potential partnerships and discuss tour packages.

The Maharashtra Tourism delegation looks forward to building upon these foundations and ushering in a new era of collaboration and friendship to drive tourist traction and investments to Maharashtra.

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