Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has approved the new Tourism Policy 2016, granting complete industry status to the sector along with the financial incentives accorded to investments for the same in the state.Tourism had enjoyed industry status in the state since 1999 but was deprived of the financial incentives.Under the new policy, tourism projects will be categorised as mega, ultramega, large, medium, small and micro. The policy will provide benefits like reimbursement of VAT, concession in luxury taxes, power and stamp duty.Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture, Government of Maharashtra, said, “With the new Tourism Policy, we shall witness high growth in tourists coming to Maharashtra. The fiscal incentives are highly encouraging…the policy lays a road map for the niche segments of the industry.”To ensure seamless business activity in the state, the new policy will provide a five-yearly renewal of licenses instead of an annual renewal. This has been a long drawn demand of the hotel and restaurant industry in the state.With the new policy in operation, the state now expects an increase in investments in the sector to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore, generating approximately 10,000 new jobs. The policy also envisages doubling of tourism revenue in the next five years.A new tourism directorate will be set up to monitor the implementation of the policy.