Shivkumar Rao, President of VED, P M Parlewar, Director, MSME-DI, Dr D M Panchabhai and Pankaj Mahajan, Vice-President of VED at the workshop.
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‘Tours & travel companies can assist to promote the sector’ ANUP Ghumare, CEO of Cenin Tours and Travels, discussed the role and assistance of tours and travel companies in agricultural tourism. “Although this concept is new to tourists, where can one go around for two days? This is what tourists often ask. At such times, tour operators can inform tourists of good agricultural tourism centres, promote them and even give regular business”, he said. People should be constantly involved in agricultural tourist centres. For this, various ingenious measures could be adopted. He also appealed that social media should be utilised for the promotion of tourist centres.
AGRICULTURAL tourism is a innovative and latest concept in tourism. It is a combined experience of agriculture and tourism. The agriculture tourism sector offers huge business opportunities in Vidarbha, said P M Parlewar, Director of MSME-DI, Nagpur while speaking at one day workshop on the topic ‘Challenges and opportunities of agriculture tourism’, organised recently by Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) in association with Smart Welfare Organisation. Parlewar said that the agriculture tourism business has the potential to flourish in the coming years. Stating that funding can be obtained for agricultural tourism under MSME schemes.
“There is tremendous potential for tourism in Vidarbha and we will try to establish a training centre for the youth. Pankaj Mahajan, Vice President of VED Council and Smart Welfare Foundation presented the purpose of the workshop. Dr P M Panchabhai, Assistant Professor of Punjabrao Deshmukh Agricultural University was the coordinator of the second phase of the workshop.
Dr Pragati Bagadey, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology of the LAD College presented the findings of his report on ‘Nagpur District: Agriculture Tourism’. He said that due to lack of infrastructure, unavailability of labour, lack of professionalism and lack of capital were obstacles to the development of agricultural tourism sector. Prasanna Shembekar, Assistant Professor at Tirupade Institute of Management Education said that the centre should be accessible to the tourists through use of digital marketing and social media. Avinash Bhake, YCCE College Professor of Applied Chemistry and Director of Rural Agri-Picnic through a power point presentation emphasised on cleanliness, proper habits and discipline of the employees.
Prashant Sawai, Deputy Director of Tourism Directorate informed about the Directorate Generals tourism scheme and employment opportunities through tourism. Amol Khante, founder of Cherry Farm, revealed his journey in the ‘Yashogatha’ segment. The success of agricultural tourism centre depends on the interest, dedication and patience of the concerned person. The concept of insurance for the tourists was starting to develop, he added. Roshan Daga, who made his breakthrough from the agricultural tourism centre of Ranawara, said that currently everyone is trying to get closer to nature.
The concept of agricultural tourism needs to be presented in a more effective and scientific way. Sunil Manakikar, President of the Smart Welfare Organisation and Director of the Black Pearl Agricultural Tourism Centre talked on ‘How to build an agricultural tourist destination with minimal investment.’ He said that tourists should come to the centre and work with the aim of making them happy and wanting to come back.
“Understanding the Government schemes, take advantage of them, creating value-added products by processing local products, training staff and considering alternatives to Yoga-Pranayama, Vipassana tourism centre,” he said. Dr Aparna Selokar proposed the vote of thanks. Shiv Kumar Rao, President of VED other office bearers and team members worked hard with for the success of the workshop.