‘Caravan’ scheme draws good response as 17 vehicles register

The state tourism department is getting good response when it comes to registration of vehicles for its ‘caravan’ programme. ‘Caravans’ are custom-made ‘house on wheels’ comprising a small kitchen and sleeping facility, among others.

So far, there are 17 vehicles registered as ‘caravans’. “Caravan vehicle operators are private entities, bookings are taken directly by them and not through the department. Therefore, we earn no revenue from them. Here, the department’s role is to act as facilitator and permit registration with valid documents,” an official said.

Private plots, including MTDC vacant plots, are proposed to be used as parking space for ‘caravans’. Moreover, ‘caravan’ owners are tying up with farmstays/resorts (having fewer number of rooms) for parking space too, the official added. “We are planning a festival where we will include ‘caravans’ and create awareness about them,” he said.

Motohom, one of the ‘caravan’ owners, has seven vehicles registered with the tourism department, the maximum. Sachin Panchal, founder of Motohom, said, “Seventy per cent of our business comes from bookings such as anniversary and birthday parties. Nowadays for reunions too, people are booking ‘caravans’. For different requirements we have different ‘caravans’ as some want it for trips, some want it for outstation plans.”

He said they are also tying up with people ready to invest with different packages from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh with returns every month and a month trip besides membership scheme. Panchal said this is how they attract investment as they are a start-up.

MVA government’s Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray had flagged off the programme in association with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation in September 2020.

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