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Chikoo Festival gives fillip to agro-tourism

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Akshay KumarDahanu

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in association with Global Konkan Pratisthan had organised the second edition of annual Chikoo Festival at Dahanu recently. Dahanu, a small coastal town which is located around 141 km from Mumbai, has abundant production of chickoo. This festival attracts a number of tourists from nearby major cities like Mumbai and Pune. This year the festival also witnessed a good number of visitors from Ahmedabad.

Speaking exclusively with Express TravelWorld , Sanjay Yadavrao, president, Global Konkan Pratisthan, said, “Chikoo Festival has seen an excellent footfall this year. Dahanu is a destination which has a great potential for agro-tourism, and Chikoo Festival plays a major role in attracting tourists.”

Apart from promoting the different varieties of chickoo and its by-products, this festival also promotes the local culture, traditions and cuisines. Warli paintings, local handwoven baskets and sculptures made by local artists were among the highlights of this festival.

Dr Jagdish Patil, managing director, MTDC, said, “Tourism can transform the socio-economic dimensions of Dahanu. Chikoo Festival is an ideal platform to promote tourism fraternity. With over 50 per cent land under fruit orchards, forests and mangroves, this region has a lot to offer through agro-tourism. We want tourists to get a flavour of the indigenous culture of Dahanu.”

Also, the Global Konkan Pratisthan is all set to promote the entire Konkan coast and improve various facilities for village tourism. With an initial plan to develop 22 villages, the government has sanctioned already INR 50 crore for the development of these Adivasi villages and boost village tourism.

Speaking about the latest development plans, Yadavrao, said, “Konkan always had a great tourism potential, but no on took the initiative to develop it. The government of Maharashtra is very helpful and we have received INR 50 crore to develop 22 villages. Mumbai is a destination which attracts around 48 lakh foreign tourists and more than three crore domestic travellers, we are promoting village tourism so that the tourists from Mumbai can also come to enjoy the beauty of Konkan.”

Global Konkan Pratisthan has also put forth a proposal to the government for creating Dahanu to Vengurla tourism corridor. The proposal includes the development of infrastructure and to providing basic necessity to the tourists. Creating new attractions like museums, developing beaches with international standard infrastructures apart from 15 to 20 tourist attractions would increase the tourism inflow in this region.

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