The sprawling campus of La Martiniere College with Constantia in the backdrop was an ideal setting for the three-day travel mart, which began here on Sunday. Around 78 delegates and tour operators from 30 countries, along with 23 Indian tour operators are attending the grand tourism carnival, which was opened by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister expressed his desire to take Uttar Pradesh on top of the tourism map, as it was the only state blessed with the best of culture, cuisine, heritage and history.
He said Uttar Pradesh had the best of rivers, oldest civilization, oldest city like Kashi, a wonder like the Taj Mahal and a centre of composite culture like Lucknow.
The chief minister said the importance of UP could not be ruled out in national politics too because today if anyone wanted to become prime minister, he had to come to UP. So if the UP government spent Rs. 1 to promote tourism in Varanasi, it was the duty of the centre to spend Rs. 100.
He lauded the participation of youth in promoting tourism and said it was a youth’s idea to come up with a heritage arch starting from Agra connecting Lucknow and Varanasi. He called on youths to send him more ideas so that he could implement them for development of tourism in the state.
The chief minister said the treasure of culture and heritage would not go waste and officials would work to attract tourists to UP with more efforts like this.
Earlier, chief secretary Alok Ranjan, principal secretary tourism Amrit Abhijat and president, Lucknow Connect, Chander Prakash also addressed the gathering. Also present on dais was noted film maker Muzaffar Ali, along with tourism minister Om Prakash.
The foreign delegates enjoyed Kathak and Holi of Brij, presented by local artistes. They were enthralled to see the cultural diversity of the city.