Coming up, ‘Aai’ initiative for women tourists

To boost tourism for women, the state tourism department is set to launch ‘Aai’ (mother) initiative, as part of which it will come up with a policy on solo travellers. The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha earlier this week.

Officials said the government will tie-up with resorts operated by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and shortlist locations that are safe and women-friendly. The initiative will likely dedicate a part of the year when women travellers would get rebate in tariff for commute and stay.

A senior department official said, “A policy will be drafted shortly. The focus is to promote solo travel among women. There is a trend of late where women are choosing to travel and explore the state, and it is the government’s job to ensure their safety and ease.”

“Among other facilities, the initiative will employ maximum number of women at tourist spots, as guides… at lodging locations, local markets, eateries and restaurants,” the officer added.

Locations, resorts and restaurants selected under the initiative will be given the tag of “women-friendly” places, the official said, adding that safety of women travellers will be given utmost priority.

Officials said the government is exploring travel packages, such as ‘Mumbai Tourism’, ‘Heritage Tourism’ and ‘Spiritual Tourism’. Historic, religious and other prominent locations will be shortlisted for these packages.

“In the ‘Mumbai Tourism’ package, prominent locations of historical and local importance can be selected, such as the Gateway of India, Mahakali Caves, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, as well as areas associated with prominent historical figures, popular streets, food joints and shopping markets,” said an official.

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