UP tourism pol­icy on the cards

Ut­tar Pradesh is plan­ning to re­lease its draft Tourism Pol­icy 2017 by Novem­ber this year to strengthen its tourism sec­tor. The state will also fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing tourist in­fras­truc­ture and will soon chart out an ag­gres­sive mar­ket­ing and pro­mo­tional campa

TravTalk - India - - STATES - ANKITA SAXENA

Ut­tar Pradesh is abound in tourism prod­ucts of ev­ery kind, be it her­itage and cul­ture, reli­gious tourism, spir­i­tual tourism, eco-tourism, wildlife tourism, etc., but still does not draw as many tourists as it is ca­pa­ble of, feels Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Min­is­ter of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of Ut­tar Pradesh. She ex­plains that the state has charted out its plan of ac­tion where firstly, it is iden­ti­fy­ing key des­ti­na­tions where they can pro­vide tourists with in­cen­tives to stay for at least 1-2 nights. Also, Ut­tar Pradesh will work on ways to en­hance the day-tours to var­i­ous key at­trac­tions to give a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence to the visitors.

Joshi says, “We have im­pro­vised upon the Tourism Pol­icy for­mu­lated in 2016 by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment and will re­lease the draft in Novem­ber. Once the pol­icy re­ceives the Cab­i­net’s ap­proval, it will soon be re­leased. The in­dus­trial pol­icy of the state is in place and un­der the Tourism Pol­icy of 2017, a lot of in­cen­tives have been pro­vided to the pri­vate play­ers and in­vestors.” She fur­ther elab­o­rates that of the to­tal tourist ar­rivals to Ut­tar Pradesh, a ma­jor share is con­trib­uted by reli­gious and spir­i­tual tourists and the state is work­ing very hard to strengthen this seg­ment by way of pro­vid­ing the tourists with ad­vanced, state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties. She opines that tourists need to be al­lowed to ex­pe­ri­ence the phi­los­o­phy and his­tory be­hind each at­trac­tion which has been a topic of re­search across the world.

Joshi feels that travel has be­come a habit with peo­ple who can af­ford it and those who can­not have as­pi­ra­tions to travel. She adds, “Travel could be to nearby places or to the far­thest des­ti­na­tions. It is up to us, how we present and po­si­tion Ut­tar Pradesh in or­der to at­tract a larger num­ber of tourists. We rank 2nd in In­dia in terms of over­all tourist vis­its to the state and 3rd in terms of for­eign tourist foot­falls, but this is not sat­is­fac­tory. Given the prod­ucts we have in UP and the scope, UP should be num­ber one in all forms of travel.”

Travel agents and tour op­er­a­tors are the back­bone of the tourism in­dus­try and the gov­ern­ment has deep in­ter­est in grow­ing this sec­tor with pol­icy ini­tia­tives and in­cen­tives for them, as­serts Joshi. She ex­plains that the state is fo­cus­ing on show­cas­ing the vast her­itage and cul­ture and in ef­fect the tourism po­ten­tial of the state through ag­gres­sive brand­ing cam­paigns. “Re­cently, we had floated an Ex­pres­sion of In­ter­est and re­ceived pro­pos­als from var­i­ous agen­cies. The se­lected agency will be re­spon­si­ble for de­vis­ing the brand­ing strat­egy for Ut­tar Pradesh as well as the Kumbh Mela, which we want to project as a ma­jor event in the state. We are in­tro­duc­ing light and sound shows at key at­trac­tions, laser shows are be­ing in­tro­duced; we also sanc­tioned

170 crore for the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion of parks and land­scap­ing of the Taj Ma­hal.”

Ut­tar Pradesh is also work­ing on strength­en­ing its hos­pi­tal­ity seg­ment, for which the state tourism depart­ment plans on of­fer­ing var­i­ous in­cen­tives and sub­si­dies to the pri­vate play­ers of the sec­tor. Other key fo­cus ar­eas of the state are to de­velop wildlife tourism and eco-tourism.

Of the to­tal tourist reli­gious and spir­i­tual tourists, and the state is work­ing hard to strengthen this seg­ment with ad­vanced fa­cil­i­ties

Rita Bahuguna Joshi Min­is­ter of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of Ut­tar Pradesh

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