Spiritual Journeys To Ayodhya: A Haven For The Tourism Industry For every 15 tourists who are headed to Uttar Pradesh in 2024, one is headed to the temple town of Ayodhya. Citing data, an official spokesperson told the media that people from all over the world are willing to visit Ayodhya which was never the case before 2017.

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For every 15 tourists who are headed to Uttar Pradesh in 2024, one is headed to the temple town of Ayodhya. Citing data, an official spokesperson told the media that people from all over the world are willing to visit Ayodhya which was never the case before 2017. "In 2017, over two lakh tourists visited Ayodhya whereas the footfall was over 2.03 crores in 2022," said the spokesperson.

A closer look at the numbers revealed that in 2023, 6.3% of the total number of tourists who visited UP headed to Ayodhya. UP's tourist footfall crossed the 32 crore mark in the first nine months. Of the total, Ayodhya's contribution was 2.03 crore and this increase has been over 85 times in comparison to 2017 figures.

Month

Footfall in Ayodhya

Total Revenue

January

9.5L

2.03 Crore

September

52.4L

Also, tourist footfall in Ayodhya saw an incremental rise every month - from about 9.5 lakh in January to 52.4 lakh in September. Estimates are that the number would have gone up further in October and November because of the Ayodhya Deepotsava and Kartik Maas rituals. But the number is yet to be officially released.

Hotel Expansion Plans

Tourist arrivals in Ayodhya have been on the rise consistently over the last few years. In 2017 approximately 1.5 crore tourists visited Ayodhya, 2 crores in 2019 and in 2022 more than 2.20 crore tourists visited the spiritual city. The government expects that Ayodhya tourism will increase ten times by 2024 once the construction and development work of Ram temple is completed.Sharing more details on the expansion plans in Ayodhya, Anuj Tejpal, Chief Merchant Officer, OYO said "We have made a robust expansion plan for Ayodhya after multiple rounds of meetings with the government to understand their key requirements and concerns. We are enthused by the swift action and encouragement provided by the Ayodhya Development Authority & UP Tourism Department. They are highly keen that we encourage the opening of well-run homestays to provide an additional source of income for the local residents. We have started onboarding homestays already. Ayodhya is the top spiritual city in our plans of expanding OYO footprints across major religious corridors in India". A recent instance of this interest in spiritual travel is the Good Friday long weekend, where OYO's booking trends revealed that Varanasi emerged as the top choice among pilgrimage destinations, followed by Puri, Shirdi, Amritsar, and Haridwar. In line with the government's vision, OYO focussed on promoting and expanding our footprint across key domestic destinations in 2024.

Railway Connectivity

Amrit Bharat trains are a new kind of superfast passenger train that uses push-pull technology to improve both passenger comfort and speed. Meanwhile, the Vande Bharat Express will connect two prominent temples in Uttar Pradesh - Ram Janmabhoomi and Gorakhnath. The semi-high-speed train will reduce travel time between Lucknow and Gorakhpur to a little over four hours, making Ayodhya just two hours away from both cities.The Vande Bharat trains, which Prime Minister Modi flagged off on Saturday, will begin service on January 4. Six days a week, the train will run between Ayodhya and Delhi's Anand Vihar station, including stops in Kanpur and Lucknow. Three Vande Bharat trains— the other two being the Gorakhpur-Lucknow and New Delhi-Varanasi trains — will also leave from Uttar Pradesh.

New Ayodhya Airport

At a cost of more than Rs 1,450 crore, the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya is the 6,500 square metre airport terminal equipped to handle roughly 1 million passengers a year. Airlines intend to provide service to and from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad in order to accommodate the lakhs of people expected to visit the Ram Temple each day following the sacred event.

The Impact Of Ram Temple

The construction of the Ram Temple has already helped the economic condition in Ayodhya. The increasing number of tourists visiting the district creates new job opportunities for locals. A number of new businesses have sprouted near the temple, offering tourists a variety of native handicrafts. Every business owner, no matter how big or little, will also be able to profit from the increased demand for goods, services, lodging, and transportation.

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