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Friday, April 12, 2024

Tourism in UP registers 27% increase – Taj Mahal no longer solo major attraction

 Domestic tourism in Uttar Pradesh has grown by 27 per cent in 2021-2022 — as per a survey by the Union Tourism Ministry – casting aside the shadow of the pandemic.

Uttar Pradesh has also emerged as the second biggest contributor, after Tamil Nadu, with over 16 per cent share in the national pie.

Against 8.6 crore tourists in 2020-21, Uttar Pradesh was visited by 10.9 crore people in 2021-22.

The state also made it to the top ten states witnessing foreign tourist visits in 2021. It ranked seventh in the category and accounted for over 4 per cent share of the total foreign tourists.

Principal Secretary, Tourism, Mukesh Meshram said, “While the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor has become a magnet, the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will be the next big thing that will draw pilgrims. Tourist facilities in Mathura are also being revamped in a big way.”

Tour operators feel that the state will no longer be known for the Taj Mahal alone.

“Till now it was the Taj Mahal that was the major tourist attraction in UP, but with Kashi Vishwanath Corridor and now the Ram temple as well as Mathura, the number of attractions are increasing and so will the tourist footfall,” said a tour operator Harish Saklani.

Industry experts and officials at the state tourism department said that the numbers speak for the fact that the sector was slowly limping back to normal. They also noted that the projections for the current year indicate further improvement.

They further claimed that within a couple of years, the state will become the number one destination in the domestic sector.

Prateek Hira, member of the tourism and medical value travel committee, said, “In India, pilgrimage drives the domestic tourism industry and UP being the birthplace of Ram and Krishna is a natural puller. Better roads and air connectivity in UP is also fuelling the weekend pilgrimage market which is sure to show up in the years to come.”

The Uttar Pradesh government is also coming up with a new policy framework to boost the tourism sector in the state as the government is seeing tourism as a key contributor to the state’s dream of becoming a one-trillion dollar economy.

The proposed new policy has broadened its canvas which will give a chance to smaller players. Alongside, it has proposed to give industry status to the tourism sector projects – often described as a magnet from the investment point of view.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline)

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