Maharashtra Tourism and ATDC celebrate 15th International Agri Tourism Day with farmers in Mumbai

The 15th International Agri Tourism Day celebration was attended by farmers, owners of agro tourism centres, and state government officials who are together striving to push rural tourism.
Agri tourism
The celebration of 15th International Agri Tourism Day by Maharashtra Tourism and ATDC in Mumbai. Image: Courtesy Directorate of Tourism, Govt of Maharashtra.

Marking the occasion of 15th International Agri Tourism Day, Maharashtra Tourism in association with Agri Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) hosted a full-day celebration at Yashwant Rao Chavan Centre in Nariman Point, Mumbai. The day was dedicated to realising the importance of agri tourism and appreciating the simple pleasures of village life.

Milind Borikar, director of Directorate of Tourism (DoT), along with ATDC founder Pandurang Taware welcomed farmers from across the state to celebrate the event with theme, ‘Sustainable Economic, Cultural, and Environmental Development of Villages through Agriculture Tourism’.

In his welcome speech, Borikar mentioned that under the guidance of state’s tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray, the agri tourism policy has been created which is inspiring famers to come forward to register their agro tourism centre and have an alternative source of income.

Agri tourism
Strawberry picking is a popular activity in the rural tourism itinerary in Maharashtra. Image: Shutterstock/Parikh Mahendra N.

Taware addressed the guests and said, “The pandemic brought a bad phase in the lives of everyone but there was one silver lining when Maharashtra Tourism department announced the agri tourism policy that gave confidence to our farmers to start their own agro tourism centres, and guidance to those who already owned one.”

During the event, experts shared tips with farmers on successfully running agro tourism centres, followed by an award ceremony to honour the owners of these centres on their initiatives, hard work, and success. The eight awardees got to speak about their individual journeys, struggles, learnings, and unique selling point.

The list of experts at the program included names like Sanjay Pawar, director of Pawar Agro Tourism Centre in Nashik; Anand Pindarkar, CEO, SROUTS; Saurabh Krishna, PHD degree holder in Agri Tourism; Dr Sainath Hadawale, director of A S Aqua; and Rutuja Achle Sapre, owner of Eco Ville.

Agri tourism
A vibrant procession during a regional festival in the outskirts of Pune. Image: Shutterstock/Vinayak Jagtap.

Dr Dhananjay Sawalkar, joint director of DoT, concluded the program by saying, “The agro tourism centres can also be a part of our FAM tours, where we can build the bridge between media, influencers, and the agro tourism centres. This will market the centres. We can also incorporate district-level festivals being celebrated on state level.”

Maharashtra is the first state to create and implement the agri tourism policy. Tourists visiting the state from Indian and international destinations will now get a taste of its diverse culture, tradition, and history.

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