Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 14
Come 2021, Himachal Pradesh could emerge as one of the preferred destinations for wine and food processing tourism. The project, once operational, will be the first-of-its-kind project in North India.
A tourist visiting the state would have an opportunity to witness the wine-making process on the lines of Sula Vineyard and Soma Wines or food processing process, as initiated by companies such as Mala’s and Mapro in Maharashtra.
Besides staying in the midst of nature, tourists visiting these manufacturing units will be taken to processing units where they will get first-hand experience as to how fresh fruits are brought into the factory, pass through grading and sorting process and finally processed into wines, juices and jellies.
Considering thematic tourism as a major attraction these days, a Gujarat-based company has entered into an MoU with the Himachal Pradesh government for promoting thematic tourism at Banalgi in Solan district.
“We have conceptualised the project on the lines of wine tourism and food processing tourism in other states. For example, in Maharashtra and Gujarat, a lot of theme tourism projects are running successfully,“ said Ravi R Desai, managing director, Himalaya Cotton Yarn Ltd.
The company has already invested Rs 15 crore in setting up a controlled-atmosphere cold storage. It will pump in another Rs 30 crore. The facility will have winery, food processing industry and eco-tourism project where tourists can stay and have first-hand account of the entire manufacturing process. The company is keen to establish winery and plans to process it from locally available fruits such as apple, peach, plum, cherry and apricot.
It will also process fruits and vegetables to manufacture jams, jellies, syrups and other products.
The company has sought approval for 5,000 sq mt of land from its existing 20,000 sq mt of leased land for the project.
Desai said companies such as Mala’s, Mapro, Sula Vineyard and Soma Vines were already successfully running the theme tourism projects within the premises of their factories where people could enjoy day trip as well as night stay. “People also get to know about local fruits and vegetables processing. This includes factory visit and briefing on production methods, including manufacturing a particular product,” he said.
According to experts, the place where Mala’s and Mapro units are located used to be rural areas and one could not think of promoting tourism there. However, these two units have transformed the entire area and tourists visit these manufacturing units to have first-hand knowledge of processing. Both these factories are located between Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani in Maharashtra.
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