Tourism in UP gears up for the next level in the Post Pandemic scenario
Uttar Pradesh: Travel & Tourism sector is one of the key growth drivers for the Indian economy. It is not only one of the highest foreign exchange earners but also one of the largest employment generators for the country. Covid 19 pandemic has presented the tourism industry with a scenario that has challenged the very essence of travel. While the tourism industry has adapted the handling of pandemic, there is still a long way to go to achieve the desired growth.
To encourage the stakeholders of entire tourism fraternity a series of webinars will be organised by FICCI jointly with the Department of Tourism, Government of Uttar Pradesh and MKITM. Coined as “Being Tourism Ready”, this will mark the inevitable zeal of the tourism industry with a strong focus on post pandemic recovery research, contributions from the industry academia and the government. To complement the event, many eminent national/international speakers and dignitaries will be invited who will share their perspectives on road ahead preparing up the industry for the next opportunity.
Dr. Neelkanth Tiwari Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Tourism, Culture, Charity & Protocol, Government of UP Inaugurated this Virtual Series on 20th July 2021, along with him Shri Mukesh Kumar Meshram, IAS Principal Secretary & DG, Tourism & Culture, Government of UP and many senior stake holders including Chef Ranveer Brar were present in the virtual inaugural ceremony.
Shri Prateek Hira, Chaiman Tourism Sub Committee FICCI UP State Council said that “Tourism is doomed – and its time to remodel and reinvent”. The recent re-opening in Uttarakhand brought an increasing number of cases which got critical, however it also gave a ray of hope that tourism has not vanished, its rather waiting to revive strongly in times to come.
Dr Jyotsna Suri Past President, FICCI, Chairperson, FICCI Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Committee & CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said Ficci has been promoting tourism from the last two decades, events like the Great Indian travel Bazaar, Tourism Investors Meet and 5 Editions of Uttar Pradesh Travel Mart have been inspiring leading international and domestic tour operators to market the tourism in the state of UP. Speaking on the strength of UP Tourism she said that religious circuits, Lip-smackingcuisine and handicrafts have always been the core reason for travellers across the world, however, Uttar Pradesh will now have to focus on the infrastructure, Appropriate accommodation, the connectivity apart from its three international airports, Hygienic and clean toilets, edible drinking water and above all safety from Covid 19.
Celebrity Indian Chef and Master-chef India judge Ranveer Brar said that UP is famous for feeding visitors and making great food since the dawn of time. He said more than 150 dishes in the world are originated from UP and no one knows about it. It is the need of the hour that UP capitalises on its cultural base and invite the world for its cuisine. He requested the government tointroduce a subject on food from UPHotel Management schools and create ambassadors who can promote the UP cuisine in the world.
Ms Mariellen Ward a Travel writer from Ontario, Canada who has been writing about tourism in Uttar Pradesh said that she has always been interested in what inspires people to travel. Storytelling is one of the most important things that inspires a traveller. She further said that UP has it all in terms of adventure, ancient monument, architecture, culture, UP has tons of tourist attractions which can make millions of stories for travellers to get inspired and visit this beautiful state. The foreign market needs to hear more about UP.
Ms Phillippa Kaye from Indian Experiences United Kingdom said that UP has soo much potential, however, a better infrastructure can make it amazingly popular amongst the international travellers. Newer ideas can be explored, newer demands can be generated to create a buzz about smart, safe and sustainable travel in UP. She further explained that in order to make mainstream tourism destinations sustainable, the tourists should be willing to stay longer and to incorporate experiences like the cuisine, culture and experiences.
Mr Rohit Kapoor CEO- India & Southeast Asia OYO Hotels & Homes acknowledged that UP has an immense depth of tourism, however the potential has to be communicated to the world. He further explained ways in which this can flourish like Major Marketing Campaigns, generating major circuits by making connecting cities, generating the Local Experiences like ‘living the village life’, better air-connectivity and lastly constantly upgrading the standards of highly visited places in terms of infrastructure like Wi-Fi connectivity, good food, cleanliness hygiene are the best ways to enhance and market the potential.
Mr Mukesh Kumar Meshram, IAS, Principal Secretary & DG, Tourism & Culture Government of Uttar Pradesh said that the Government has been keen on developing infrastructure in destinations like Ayodhya, Varanasi and Kushinagar. However, considering the covid scenario the sector will bounce back, and the government of the state is and has always been ready to provide support to all the stakeholders of the sector. The department has shared SOP’s to keep the safety intact. The department has used this time to identify the gap analysis. Vision document for Ayodhya has already been developed and the government proactive to make it an exclusive tourist destination. These destinations have started to initiate skill development, capacity building programmes, foreign language for international tourists. Government of India started the theme of revival of Buddhist tourism in Kushinagar, Shravasti, Varanasi and airports with international connectivity will give a boost to the Buddhist Circuit in the state. The Department has developed Heli-portsfor inter-and intrastate travel, under a PPP model where private players will be welcome to initiate services. We have requested FICCI to organise a webinar on the same. Ropeway projects have been plannedfor various tourist destinations like Mirzapur, Barsana etc. and more focus will be on sustainable tourism which is the prime objective and all suggestions/ inputs are welcome. The Government will be incentivising travel bloggers and travel media and plan an annual function to award the best of them. The Principal Secretary said that Kushinagarhas 195 acres of land is available andprivate investors are welcomed to develop complexes, hospitals, handicraft villages, recreational centres, this will increase the footfall in UP.
Dr Neelkanth Tiwari Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge)Tourism, Culture, Charity & Protocol Government of Uttar Pradesh said that the government is already working towards making the best infrastructure in the state. Considering the opportunities, he said that rail and road connectivity have to be constantly modernised. He also advised FICCI to plan Tourism Specific investors meet in order to enhance the tourism in the state.