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Abstract

In tune with The Butler Model of Tourism Development, the Maharashtra government is soon coming up
with a plan to project Lonavala – a hill station in Maharashtra as an international tourist destination in
order to lure foreign travellers. The plan includes marketing Lonavala as monsoon destination by developing
the parks and lakes and revamping the old tourist spots. A new type of emerging tourism is Spiritual Tourism
wherein tourists travel either domestically or to international destinations to visit spiritual places and to
have a spiritual experience motivated by faith or religious reasons. As the town already fulfils the 4 As of
Tourism, there is a scope to market Lonavala as a destination for Spiritual Tourism by projecting the
already existing Buddhist Caves, Temples, Meditation Centres and Kaivalyadham Ashram (Yoga Centre). In
addition, as a Startup India initiative, a new Health and Wellness Centre can be created nearby any of the 4
lakes offering state of the art amenities, thus cashing in on the Rs.2.5 lakh crore market of religion and
spirituality in India. The paper attempts to weigh the opportunities the idea offers and the challenges that
might have to be faced during the process.

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