With Uttar Pradesh increasingly becoming the most sought after tourist destination after Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Delhi for domestic and foreign travellers, a just-concluded ASSOCHAM study projects the state can attract over 28 lakh foreign tourists by 2017, up from about 20.5 lakh overseas tourists that had visited here in 2013.
“An increased thrust on tourism sector development by the state government through steps like enhancing air connectivity, development of heritage sites, better management of pilgrimage places and others can create about 10 lakh direct and indirect jobs in UP alone,” says the study titled ‘Realising Tourism Potential of Uttar Pradesh,’ conducted Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Besides, growth and development of tourism sector in UP can mobilise investments in hospitality sector from both private and public sources and also attract indirect revenue like tax collections thereby filling state’s coffers, says the study.
Total tourist arrival in UP had increased by over 34 per cent year-on-year, from a level of about 17 crore in 2012 to about 23 crore in 2013.
Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about eight per cent, UP had attracted over 20.5 lakh foreign tourists in 2013 and the state had ranked fourth with just over 10 per cent share in total number of about two crore foreign tourists that visited India during the aforementioned period. Agra (59%), Allahabad (18.5%) and Sarnath (17%) are top three most visited destinations by foreign tourists in UP.
Overseas travellers’ visit to Allahabad had increased by a whopping 265.5 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) i.e. from about one lakh in 2012 to about four lakh in 2013, while Lucknow registered about 21 per cent increase in attracting foreign visitors.
However, number of travellers visiting Agra from abroad had declined by about eight per cent during the same period.
UP had ranked as second most visited destination for domestic travellers as over 22.6 crore Indian tourists visited the state in 2013 thereby accounting for almost 20% share in total number of over 114.5 crore domestic tourist visits made throughout India, noted the ASSOCHAM study.
Allahabad (37%), Ayodhya (6%) and Govardhan (4%) are top three most visited destinations for domestic tourists in 2013.
Allahabad has clocked the highest Y-o-Y growth rate of about 143% followed by Lucknow (12%).