According to a report published by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM), the number of foreign footfalls in UP could go up to as much as 28 lakh by 2017 from the 20.5 lakh that visited the state in 2013, in the process making it the most popular destination in the country behind Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Delhi.
The study conducted by the industry body was titled ‘Realising tourism potential in UP’. The findings of the report show that UP is quickly climbing the popularity charts and has the potential to become the top destination in the country.
Outlining the route map for keeping up the momentum and pushing it even further, the report suggests that the state government take steps like improving air connectivity, brushing up the heritage sites, and better management of the existing pilgrimage sites. These steps alone are expected to create around 10 lakh direct and indirect new jobs in the state. The importance of tourism in the state’s economic wellbeing has therefore only increased.
National Secretary General of Assocham, Mr D.S. Rawat while speaking on the findings of the report said that UP is well placed to attract investments in the hospitality sector with both the private and public investors keen to invest in this growing market. UP can also expect to generate indirect revenues from tax collections. He also suggested that the state open up its tourism sector as it would be an added incentive for prospective investors. Some steps the state can take in this regard include organizing road-shows, introducing incentive schemes for investors for the development of tourism like allotment of land on priority basis, besides offering interest subsidies for hotel projects.
Here is a table showing the break-up of tourist arrivals in UP in the years 2012 and 2013.
|Year||Total Tourist arrivals||Foreign tourists||Domestic tourists|
|2012||17 crore||20 lakh||16.8 crore|
|2013||23 crore||20.5 lakh||22.6 crore|
The year-on-year growth rate of tourist arrivals is 34 percent, up from 17 crore in 2012 to 23 crore in 2013. As far as domestic travelers are concerned, UP was their second favorite destination with the state receiving 22.6 crore footfalls in 2013 thereby accounting for a 20 percent share in the 114.5 crore domestic tourists.
The top three destinations which were the most frequented by foreign tourists are Agra (59 per cent), Allahabad (18.5 per cent) and Sarnath (17 per cent). Allahabad is in fact a unique case with the destination showing an exponential growth rate of 265.5 percent over the previous year; while it received a little over one lakh visitors in 2012, it touched almost 4 lakh visitors in 2013.
Another interesting finding of the report is Buddhist tourism is gaining currency among both the domestic and foreign tourists with destinations like like Sarnath, Kushinagar, Sankasia, Kaushambi and Sravasti getting the maximum visitors.
Also check out following World Heritage Sites and Tourist Attractions in Uttar Pradesh: