The Hotel And Restaurant Association (Western India) – HRAWI commended Maharashtra Government for its proactive stance in revitalizing the Wine Industrial Promotion Scheme (WIPS), a move that is expected to enhance Nashik’s reputation as a premier tourism destination. Recognizing the city’s remarkable success in drawing over 70,000 tourists and selling over 2 lakh litres of wine during the recent holiday season, the reinstatement of the wine scheme is projected to boost Nashik’s appeal further, attracting an even greater number of visitors. The Association anticipates the revival of the scheme to benefit not just the burgeoning wine industry but also, the hospitality and tourism sector in the State.
“We commend the Maharashtra Government’s forward-thinking approach in reinstating the WIPS. Nashik’s success at attracting tourists during the holiday season highlights its growing prominence as a tourism hotspot. The increased tourist footfall, especially around wineries, signifies a shift in people’s preferences towards relaxation and personal time. We believe the reinstatement of WIPS to play the role of a catalyst in propelling the region’s development as a tourism destination and contributing to its economic growth,” said, Pradeep Shetty, President, HRAWI.
Recognized as Asia’s wine tourism destination, Nashik attracts visitors from Pune, Mumbai, Gujarat, Delhi and even international locations. The region offers diverse experiences, including trekking, wine, agro-tourism, and spiritual tourism. Alongside, it promises to pave the way for an array of positive outcomes, particularly within the hospitality sector.
“Nashik doesn’t just boast exceptional vineyards; it also presents a myriad of diverse tourism experiences with the potential to draw in more tourists. Hotels, restaurants and resorts are poised to benefit from increased patronage and business opportunities. We anticipate collaborative efforts between vineyards and hospitality businesses, creating a synergy that will offer unique experiences to tourists, elevating the overall appeal of Maharashtra as a preferred wine tourism destination,” added Paramjit Singh Ghai, Hon. Treasurer, HRAWI.
Recently, the State Government announced a Rs.350 Cr plan aimed at boosting tourism in Vidarbha to develop Maharashtra as a nature-focused travel hub. HRAWI anticipates these new developments to benefit not only local tourism but also in enhancing the State’s perception as a wholesome tourism destination. This, in turn, will attract more tourists and open up new opportunities for growth of the hospitality industry.
“With Maharashtra boasting exceptional vineyards, in regions like Nashik and initiatives to promote the State’s natural beauty in regions like Vidarbha and Nagpur will attract an influx of tourists seeking immersive, holistic tourism experiences. The revival of WIPS underscores the Government’s commitment to nurturing local industries, a focus on economic growth and enhancing the State’s global appeal. HRAWI lauds this progressive step and pledges its support to maximize the potential of these initiatives for the benefit of Maharashtra’s wine industry, as well as for the hospitality and tourism sector at large,” concludes Shetty.
WIPS was originally introduced in 2009 for those who produce wine from grapes grown in Maharashtra to encourage the wine industry but was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. The VAT rate for wineries stands at 20 per cent, with 16 per cent being reimbursed as a rebate under the WIPS. Notably, wineries that have consistently paid 20 per cent VAT for the past four fiscal years including 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 have been granted approval for rebate refunds.