NASHIK: Stakeholders in Nashik's tourism business, like tour operators and builders, have offered their cooperation in the growth of tourism in the district.
The Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) in its report presented to the state government had pointed out that Nashik city and the district lacked a network between tour operators, hoteliers and other such stakeholders, which proved to be a non-development for the tourism field of the city.
Describing Nashik as a 'filthy', unfriendly and ill-equipped city for tourists', the TFCI report had stated that tourists found Nashik unsafe, considering the non-cooperation of its citizens, a high crime rate and no accreditation of shops. The TFCI also came down heavily on the lack of transparency in fares charged by taxis and auto-rickshaws in the city and had recommended strict control over tariffs charged by public carriers. In the last one year, there have been at least 10 incidents of auto-rickshaw drivers looting passengers at knife-point, not to mention charging exorbitant amounts.
The Travel and Tourism Association of Nashik (TAAN) has offered to fill in the vacuum of safe and trustworthy modes of transport for tourists. "There is a need for educating and training auto-rickshaw drivers. There have been some incidents that have been a blot on Nashik's image. TAAN is planning to organize training for the rickshaw drivers, through which they would be able to take visitors on one-day, half-day, leisure or pilgrimage and even adventure tours of the city and the district," said Jayesh Talegaonkar, former president, TAAN.
Association of Bar, Hotels And Restaurants (ABHAAR) president Sanjay Chavan, also the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) corporator, welcomed the tourism development plan for the district. Waterbodies should be developed for recreation purposes a top priority, Chavan said. "Hotels are ready to provide services for customers, but there are no tourist attractions in the district as such. Once spots are developed, resorts will come up in such areas, which will help locals earn a living besides their regular sources of income. The administration should really look the tourism potential of the 23 dams in Nashik district," Chavan said.
Many consider the launch of the pre-paid auto-rickshaw as a milestone in the city's infrastructure development. "The Regional Transport Office (RTO) is monitoring the system and planning to introduce newer routes and stands in the near future," a Nashik RTO official said.
The Confederation of Real Estate Developer's Associations of India (CREDAI), Nashik, is also keen on playing a role in the all-round development of the district. "We can organize meetings of a cross-section of people involved in the development to arrive at a roadmap for the district to be a better tourism destination," said Kiran Chavan, Nashik CREDAI president.
The TFCI Report:
The TFCI in its report sent to the state government through the collectorate of Nashik had pointed out at the basic flaws in infrastructure that failed to attract the tourists to the city. The major issues included the polluted river, unclean atmosphere and unsafe city. It had suggested development of river front, clean city and tourism police that would ultimately help the city in the long run