'UP emerging as affordable, safe destination for tourists'

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Lucknow, Dec 26: Improved air connectivity, proper care of heritage sites and better management of pilgrimage spots have helped Uttar Pradesh emerge as an affordable and safe holiday destination for the domestic and foreign tourists.

According to a survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), "Tourist hot spots in northern, central India and in majority of the coastal belt are expected to see influx of about 15 lakh domestic and foreign tourists as they find it both cheap and safe."

Uttar Pradesh

"Tourist spots in Uttar Pradesh alone might be able to attract about three lakh of these travellers," the survey- analysis on 'Year-end tourism trends in India: 2015' said.

Of the total 500 respondents, 20 per cent said they are planning to visit famous tourist spots in UP like Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Allahabad, Ayodhya, Mathura-Vrindavan (Braj mandal), Sarnath, Varanasi and others considering it a safe and affordable destination, the survey claimed.

"Steps like enhancing air connectivity, development of heritage sites and better management of pilgrimage places taken by the state government aimed at tourism promotion have helped UP emerge as a famous tourist hub for domestic and foreign tourists," ASSOCHAM Secretary General DS Rawat said while releasing the survey.

Inbound tourism in the state is also likely to register an increase of up to 10 per cent during this New Year holiday season as travellers plan to refrain from going overseas in wake of recent terror attacks in most sought-after global tourist destinations of Bangkok and Paris, Rawat said.

"Tourism, which is the mainstay of the economy in Andaman and Nicobar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh along with northeastern states are likely to do brisk business and attract tourists in large numbers," he said.

"Though terrorist attacks can occur anywhere, but certain latest cases are likely to significantly impact outbound tourism in a negative way and this trend is expected to revive the domestic tourism sector which has been facing a lull due to growing inflation, rising airfares, high hotel room rates, fluctuations in the value of rupee against foreign currencies and other related factors," said Rawat.

The ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation had interacted with about 500 travel enthusiasts (working professionals) in the age group of about 25-60 years in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune during the course of past one month.

About 60 per cent respondents said they have planned to go on a vacation this year end. Over half of these said they plan to visit northern tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and others as certain parts of southern India have recently been hit by unprecedented rains, survey highlighted.

Only handful (8-10 per cent) respondents said they plan to go abroad for vacations to Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Singapore and other such affordable and 'safe' destinations, the survey claimed.

PTI

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