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Why Mumbai's tourism needs a new plan

TripAdvisor’s recent survey placed Mumbai last among world cities for travel in crucial categories like ease of moving around and cleanliness. Five Mumbaikars chalk out their blueprint to change this gloomy picture, along with solutions for it.

Dhara Shah
24, Architect
Problem: Lack of signage
Solution: Firstly, the work of developing signage in the city should not be left to different regional authorities. Signage is dependent on various factors — we need a central point of information and guides to the various places in the city.

Dhara Shah

Gateway of India
Two international tourists try take a photograph at Gateway of India in Colaba. According to a recent survey by a travel website, Mumbai is the worst in the world to travel to in terms of hygiene, food and transport. PIC/PRADEEP DHIVAR

Heritage buildings need better guides and information. The heritage buildings in Fort could have information about the kind of arch the building has and the period it belongs to and other modes of identification in the city rather than just renamed street names.

Two foreign tourists gaze at a stone edict inside the Elephanta Caves. PIC/shadab khan
Two foreign tourists gaze at a stone edict inside the Elephanta Caves. Pic/Shadab Khan

With the amount of heritage that Mumbai has, we could have a street museum. Things do exist in the city but we need a better platform for them.

Sarvesh Tulaskar
27, IT Engineer
Problem: Narrow roads
Solution: Local trains are a great way to travel in Mumbai but areas around railway stations are overcrowded with hawkers. There are no places to park or walk. Infrastructure like skywalks are a waste. Instead, the governing body should ensure that the area within a kilometre’s radius of stations is either hawker-free or planned such that it doesn’t lead to congestion. I travel to Pune for work regularly where there are separate lanes for buses. Road management is necessary for Mumbai too, to cope with bad and narrow roads. We have good connectivity through local transport but we need stricter rules for glitch-free functioning of the system.

Sarvesh Tulaskar

Neeti Govila
26, Marketing Executive
Problem: Closing deadline
Solution: Mumbai is the financial capital of the country and though not a world class but a metropolitan city. We do have a night life but things shut at 1.30 pm. It’s not just partying that one needs to think about, even places to eat. If you need to go to a place to eat at night, it is just restaurants at five star hotels. And if you might find one hawker late at night you aren’t sure if it’s hygienic. This is a major issue, hygiene. And it transcends various factors, be it clean roads, trains, accessible drinking water or places to eat. We have good transport and the city is relatively safe, but cleanliness is a thing very hard to find. The high population just adds to the mess.

Neeti Govila

Sudeepta Sanyal
30, Founder, Blueberry Trails
Problem: Lack of tourism marketing, women’s safety
Solution: The state doesn’t do much to promote Mumbai’s and the state’s landmarks; look at Gujarat and Kerala. We have impressive places to visit within and around the city including heritage sites like the Elephanta Caves, but there isn’t much information available. Trained guides and walking tours should have a regulation to maintain high quality and standards. Also, places like Vasai Fort, our beaches and picnic spots have become booze jaunts for groups of boys. The state must take measures and promote these as women-friendly spots. 60% of sign ups for our trips are women, and the number is increasing daily.

Sudeepta Sanyal

Mohsina Mukaddam
52, Food Historian
Problem: Lack of hygiene and under utilised food culture
Solution: Dirt and hygiene needs immediate attention. You step out of the airport and you see it. Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and as a leading city in the country, we need more discipline, be it traffic rules or littering. Mumbai’s street food is sold worldwide, but within the city, hygiene conditions are appalling. Even if travellers wish to go all out and eat our street food, they will think twice. The night food courts at Malaysia and Singapore should serve as examples. We have great community food and gastro tourism is fashionable these days. We must develop food trails with strict regulations.

Mohsina Mukaddam

How the Maximum City fared

Category Worst Best
Cleanest streets Mumbai Tokyo
Ease of getting around Mumbai Vienna
Best for attractions Mumbai (third last) Rome
Family-friendliness Mumbai (third last) Stockholm
Overall experience Mumbai Tokyo

Source: Travel site TripAdvisor released its second annual Cities Survey on May 20, revealing how travellers view key tourist cities around the world.

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