The policy will help regulate the entire trade of vacation homes, which will be approved after visits from government officials and the police, and help curb the menace of unsuspecting tourists getting fleeced
Maharashtra government is drafting a ‘vacation rental home’ policy, given the changes in tourist preferences during the pandemic to stay in cosy residences in faraway places rather than hotel rooms, a senior official said.
The policy will help regulate the entire trade of vacation homes, which will be approved after visits from government officials and the police, and help curb the menace of unsuspecting tourists getting fleeced, the state’s Principal Secretary (Tourism) Valsa Nair Singh, said speaking at an event organised by the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
There are dedicated platforms that have such properties listed, she said adding that there have been instances of fleecing where bogus apps have taken payments for non-existing properties which are discovered by the tourist only on reaching the spot.
“We are in the process of drafting this policy. This will be a comprehensive policy, the place is checked, police has also checked before it is given a permission,” Singh said.
Singh said the tourism department is planning to have a caravan parking bay at the base of the historic Raigad fort, where the recreational vehicles can be parked by the tourists.
About a dozen entrepreneurs have come forward with plans on the caravan front, she said adding that it will take up to two years to have a strong caravan touring culture in the state like the one seen in the west.
Maharashtra, which has a 750-km coastline, will have beach shacks by October, she said adding that there has been movement on the beach shack policy which was made public last year.
Sites have been identified and detailed plans set up, she said adding that the only missing aspect is coastal zone map compliance which will happen to open the shacks once the monsoons are over.
Singh said there is a huge demand for tourism and the state’s focus will be to tap into outbound tourists by giving them options within.