LUCKNOW’S GOT everything for it to be a top international tourist destination. But, it still lacks recognition.
That may well change with the Tourist Department planning to popularise the city’s rich art, culture and architecture to bowl visitors over. Confirming the plan, Tourism Minister Kokab Hameed on Wednesday said, “The city will be on the tourist map.” Highlighting one of its selling points, he pointed out that Sham-e-Awadh was no less enchanting than Shab-e-Shiraz of Iran. He was speaking at a programme that the department held to mark the International Tourism Day. Fittingly, its theme was: Tourism Enriches: Individuals, Families, Communities and the World.
It was not as if the rest of the State had fallen off the department’s map.
“Without UP, Incredible India is incomplete,” the minister was quick to add.
“The State has everything to offer to tourists. It has Banaras, the oldest living city, three world-class monuments, eco-tourism of Dudhwa for wildlife lovers and a range of beautiful hills.”
With the department keen to generate more tourism-driven employment opportunities, it was no surprise that the minister said tourism had become the biggest industry in the world.
“Even in our country, people have started travelling much more than before.”
Dwelling on the changing face of tourism, noted litterateur Yogesh Praveen said it was earlier limited to pilgrimage, ‘Jiyarat’ or honeymoon.
But, now exploring the culture, architecture, cuisine and historical importance of places was an integral part of it, he added.
As for Lucknow, he said, “It has crafts, culture, manners and cuisine. We need to work on popularising the city so that it can be put on the world tourism map.”
Principal Secretary, Tourism, Om Prakash said the department was giving priority to year-long celebrations to mark 2,500 years of Gautam Buddha’s Mahaparinirvan.
All five destinations in the Buddhist circuit would be upgraded with Rs 680-crore assistance from the JBIC, he added.