Vidarbha enjoys a formidable reputation as the tiger capital of the world, attracting tourists from all over the globe. However, there is a lot more to the region than mere tiger and wildlife tourism. Vidarbha has a rich cultural heritage, with scores of monuments and places that show us the history of various periods.
It has rich flora and fauna and is bestowed with lakes and water-bodies that offer breathtaking beauty to the visitors, which make for great destinations for nature tourism. Vidarbha is the confluence of various cultures; the Gond tribal heritage has been preserved in the region and is a window to the pre-industrialisation world. Vidarbha abounds in destinations of historical, archaeological, social, adventure sports, tribal and religious interest near the tiger reserves, which could be great add-ons and time well-spent, beyond tiger tourism.
These could be good revenue-earners for the local communities living in the peripheries of the tiger reserves, or in the places nearby, as the local people could create interesting experiences for the tourists by involving them in different activities. Local handicrafts, cuisine and the tribal way of life could be added attractions. Unfortunately, not much beyond tiger tourism is promoted mainly due to a lack of infrastructure, awareness, publicity, and promotion, and often due to the lack of any upkeep of the destinations in the first place.
VED Council plans to catalog various places of interest to tourists and make a note of their present infrastructure, or rather the lack of it, to create a comprehensive plan of promoting inbound tourism in the region, which will offer a unique localized experience to the tourists. Once the blueprint is ready, VED will coordinate with Government authorities to create a suitable infrastructure for taking the tourism of the region to the next level.