UP devising new avatar for Ayodhya?
TravTalk (December-2021 issue) interviews President & CEO of Tornos Mr. Prateek Hira on the subject:
“Prateek Hira, Chairman, IATO Uttar Pradesh Chapter and President & CEO, Tornos, Director,River Rhapsody, stated that Uttar Pradesh, being a big state, has many lesser known destinations that till now have not been brought forth or valued by the industry. COVID-19 gave a lot of time to tour operators to rediscover the state and replan tours with new flavours, so coming up with new itineraries will be an evolution and a welcome one. Speaking of changes in the travel itinerary of Uttar Pradesh, he said, “‘Changed’ in my opinion is a wrong word; a better word would be ‘evolved’. Just as products get redundant after a time when they reach their optimum sales, so does an itinerary. Law of diminishing returns very much applies here too,” said Hira.
He added, “Ayodhya is the newest, so it obviously requires much more focus and investment, which the government is doing in order to bring it at par with other developed tourist destinations in the state. Agra is one of the inbound feeder destinations, not only for the state of Uttar Pradesh but also for many other states in India, so it has been and will always be at the top of the chart.”
He further added, “Agra is one such destination that in itself is the crown of India’s tourist destinations, what with a robust and well-developed tourist infrastructure that is constantly growing. The Agra metro is one example of it. The introduction of multiple flights to Agra is another. The smart city project in Agra is yet another example of the ongoing development of Agra, which will benefit Agra’s tourism industry. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has also taken up the mammoth task of training guides in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri, which is a welcome step as it wants to revive Fatehpur Sikri as a must-do excursion from Agra. similarly, Bateshwar is being taken up with all seriousness and so is Chambal Sanctuary and the Lion Safari, which are now a part of the eco–tourism circuit of Uttar Pradesh where the state forest department is doing a lot of work. All these places fall in close proximity to Agra and will surely help Agra to increase the average length of stay and offer much more than just the Taj Mahal.”