Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary of Tourism & Culture at Indian Administrative Service (IAS): The government of UP shows anticipated commitment to the country's economic upturn on a larger scale in 2023.

New Update

As affirmed by Mukesh Kumar Meshram, Principal Secretary of Tourism & Culture at Indian Administrative Service (IAS) - Government of Uttar Pradesh, the state shows anticipated commitment towards the economic upturn of the country on a larger scale in 2023

A boom in the construction of facilities
Uttar Pradesh has developed a lot of infrastructure in the last six years. We have developed six major expressways, and many
more are coming up as they are now under construction. We have also developed a lot of airports. New airports, including international airports, are also in the pipeline. Lucknow, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Jewar and Ayodhya all have international airports. More airports are under construction and they will be functional and operational very soon. We have several domestic airports. Some of them are under development, but soon they will also be functional. Heliports are also being developed through PPP (with private support).

Ayodhya- A Promising Venture
More than 30 hotels have been already registered in Ayodhya. In 2025, we will be organising Maha Kumbh in Prayagraj after
a gap of 144 years. We will undoubtedly be needing at least 40,000 accommodation units. Throughout the Mahakumbh period, we
are expecting 400 million people would visit and for them, we will need accommodation facilities, parking facilities, public amenities
and seamless smooth travel. Ayodhya is open to tourists. It's only the temple construction that is going on in full swing. We expect it to be in shape before 2024, and other developments will follow. We have four-lane wide roads connecting Prayagraj to Ayodhya, further connecting Vindhyavasini and Varanasi. The wide roads are under construction from Lucknow to Rai Bareilly to Prayagraj.

A concoction of creation and innovation
We have to grow rural tourism to offer natural sights, bolstering the growth of eco-tourism in the state. We have different kinds of forts and palaces in the Bundelkhand area, which are unexplored and untapped so far, giving a boost to heritage tourism. As far as natural tourism is concerned, we have plenty of reservoirs, dams and lakes. We also have new eco-tourism sites coming up; Amangarh Tiger Reserve is one of them. In the Bijnor district, the new Corbett National Park is being built. Secondly, Rani Fort in the Chitrakoot Bundelkhand area

New Uttar Pradesh Tourism Policy
The latest UP Tourism Policy encompasses different kinds of units under one umbrella. Any kind of activity related to tourism will be
covered, be it caravan tourism, light and sound shows, museums, wellness tourism, hotels, tents, or cruising. What we are offering someone who wants to develop Metaverse using artificial intelligence or some kind of innovation digitally, we will support them financially. We are open to inviting people and supporting them financially to execute innovative digital advancements to promote tourism.

An upsurge of inbound tourism via Uttar Pradesh
Now things have settled, and people have started moving out to different tourist destinations. As per my observation, they are coming out of their houses in big numbers with family, friends, and relatives. Recently I was in Dubai, where I observed that all the malls and tourist attractions were full of tourists. So, now the fear of Covid has gone away, and people just want to experience different kinds of places. Hence, I would like to highlight that Uttar Pradesh has a treasure where we can showcase different kinds of places where tourists can have different kinds of experiences. Uttar Pradesh can offer spiritual tourism destinations, natural sites, cultural sites, as well as various monuments, right from the Taj Mahal to Jhansi Fort. UP also has a variety of religious sites, such as Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Gorakhnath Temple. Additionally, related to Buddhism, there are 500 million Buddhist followers across the world, out of which we have succeeded in attracting just 0.5 million so far. And I see a lot of potential to multiply it. If we multiply it by 10 times, it would certainly be a success because every inbound tourist brings revenue and employment to the country. In this context, our honourable Prime Minister has rightly emphasised three Ts- Technology, Trade and Tourism as tourism can boost a lot many things. It also adds a certain value to our economy.

Uttar Pradesh proving to be an immersive opportunity
I am a firm believer in the fact that the whole world is a book containing lots of knowledge. It has a treasure of experiences, and it's up to you how you want to grab it. This is a lifetime opportunity, which you can gain and every destination is like a chapter of that
book. So, the more you visit the sites more you learn and the more you go out, the more you gain experience. Further, you will be
able to impart knowledge to your upcoming generation, friends and relatives about the places you have visited. That is why tourism
is like learning the whole world. It de-stresses you. It makes you knowledgeable. It connects you with the culture. It connects you with the people. We say “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the whole world is my own family. Tourism is the activity which is translated through it.

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