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Support from the state government needed to drive tourist arrivals into Tarkarli: Ravindra Khanvilkar, founding member, TTDS

Tarkarli, being isolated yet a destination of great potential, is a village located in Maharashtra on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The major source of income for the villagers is the tourism industry which includes marine activities like scuba diving, water sports, parasailing, as well as attractions like beaches and the Sindhudurg Fort, informed Ravindra Khanvilkar, founding member & ex-president of Tarkarli Tourism Development Sanstha (TTDS).

Although being an attractive destination, Khanvilkar feels that there has been a lack of support from the state government in terms of promoting Tarkarli to both the domestic as well as international travellers, which is evident from the dip in tourist arrivals to the village since the past five years. He said that the destination now has over 200 resort properties and more than 100 homestays, but due to low demand, this has led to a cut-throat competitive scenario within the village. Also entry of new players in developing hotels and resorts in the village from the outside, has further dampened opportunities for the locals.

In a bid to boost the popularity of Tarkarli as a destination and to reach to the modern-day tech-savvy travellers, Khanvilkar said that TTDS has recently developed their own website – tarkarlitours.com which will act as a window to vital information about the various excursions and activities to explore in the destination, and also attractive offers like 50 per cent discount on select properties during off-season, etc. Khanvilkar further added that the government should look into improving the connectivity infrastructure like the roads. Imposing taxes on outside entrants and initiating certain subsidies to local players will further help sustainability in terms of local employment, he concluded.

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