Sunday, September 23, 2018

Rivera Toursim in Alibaug will give a fillip to the coastal economy, with improved water transport connectivity
Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 7:00:23 PM - By News Bureau
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Dr Niranjan Hiranandani
MUMBAI/ ALIBAUG: Over the years, one has seen Mumbaikars jet off to Goa for a short break or a weekend holiday. Some Mumbaikars have even opted to buy a second or weekend home in Goa. Sun, sand and surf – but at a distance of 500-plus kms. Another location closer to Mumbai, which offers tourism and option of second homes as its central theme is Alibaug. From a real estate perspective, the region in and around Alibaug offers projects which include plotted developments for luxury villas. On the cards are projects which are expected to witness development of luxury hotels, sailing clubs and water sports hubs.

“I have always wondered why destinations like Alibaug, which are closer, do not attract this segment of Mumbaikars seeking sun, sand and the sea,” says real estate Czar Dr Niranjan Hiranandani. When it comes to real estate as growth generator for any location, tourism is has the potential to drive economic development, and any infrastructure development which supports growth in tourism is positive.

Maharashtra with its 720-km coastline, offers options galore for coastal tourism. Closer to Mumbai, Alibaug offers options with a global twist: the ‘Riviera Tourism’ concept, which has remained largely unexplored in India. In Maharashtra’s capital, Mumbai, there are many who look for a short holiday as also options to buy a second home in the Alibaug region. The Konkan region offers pristine beaches, forts and coastal cities such as Alibaug, the perfect option to develop an Indian Riviera in Maharashtra complete with resorts, waterfront restaurants and promenades, marinas and boat clubs along with cruise terminals. This has the potential to provide a fillip to the coastal economy through ‘Rivera Tourism’.

Goa-esque Alibaug, is how Dr Niranjan Hiranandani refers to this region, where he expects ‘Rivera Tourism’ to take off. While Alibaug is located just a few hour's drive from Mumbai, it has practically everything that Goa offers Mumbaikars – and its closer. And, once the Roll-On Roll-Off (Ro-Ro) ferry starts operations between South Mumbai and Alibaug it will be just a short ride away. Dr Niranjan Hiranandani expects better water-based connectivity to result in higher tourist arrivals in Alibaug giving the region's development an impetus and opening up new avenues for commercial development – which includes the potential to create new business hubs in the Konkan region.

For a coastal city like Mumbai, the sea route for connectivity to locations in the Alibaug region like Nagaon and Mandwa would be an apt option, rather than the long, circuitous drive via Sion and Panvel. “If Rivera Tourism is what calls you to Alibaug, the Ro-Ro ferry would be ideal; Mumbaikars could drive onto the ‘Ro-Ro’ ferries at Ferry Wharf and drive off at Mandwa, bringing the hinterland of Alibaug closer to Mumbaikars. Better connectivity will result in higher tourism, giving the region’s development as also the state’s economy a fillip,” says Dr Niranjan Hiranandani.

For Mumbaikars looking for a quick trip to Alibaug and its hinterland, water transport linkages will result in more frequent, faster and quality water transport between the city and Mandwa as also Nagaon, the popular beach destinations of Alibaug. It is not just tourism that will get a fillip; water-based transport linkages will also result in better connectivity between Mumbai and other destinations in the Konkan region, along with Alibaug, says Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, adding that moves on part of the state government which will enable catamaran and hovercraft services is a welcome one.

Infrastructure growth in form of better connectivity, which includes Ro-Ro ferries, will help develop coastal areas in Maharashtra into ‘smart locations’. This will also give a fillip to tourism development, especially ‘Riviera Tourism’, which has the potential to create new tourism-based economic development hubs in the Konkan region,” he concludes.

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani is Founder & CMD, Hiranandani Communities and President, NAREDCO.
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Dr Niranjan Hiranandani
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