Wah Taj! But there’s more to UP than this
Seeking to boost tourist inflow and tourism revenue, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government is keen to explore the potential of Historical, Rural, Cultural, Religious, Wellness, Ecological, Ravine and Motor Sports, Water Sports, and Heritage Tourism, apart fro
'Agra Darshan' bus
According to Amrit Abhijat, Secretary Tourism, Government of Uttar Pradesh, the focus of the government is now on pro-poor tourism.The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to launch a bus service named ' Agra Darshan' in the city soon. The buses will be complemented with radio taxis and other tourism-friendly travel apparatus. Talking about UP government’s plan, he said, “As a part of this tourism plan, the Holipura and Kachhpura villages of Agra will be transformed into tourist-friendly villages, where tourists can catch a glimpse of the rural life in Braj region. Previously, Barara was designated as a tourist village and it still attracts tourists from across the world. The government is also planning to designate former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's ancestral village Bateshwar as a tourist village.”
On the lines of Berlin and London, Uttar Pradesh Tourism will launch a new scheme called 'Lucknow by cycle' for visitors and later this will be unveiled in heritage cities of Varanasi and Agra. “Under the scheme to be launched by the end of this month, cycle will be provided on rent to tourists," Abhijat revealed. He said that in many countries like China, cycles are available on rent at local level in a few cities to visit tourist spots. “Cycles are also available for city tours in Berlin, Munich in Germany, Amsterdam and London. On similar lines, UP tourism is launching 'Lucknow by cycle',” he revealed. Keeping in view the popularity of heritage walk, it has been decided to make cycle tour its part. He said that in the first phase eight geared cycles would be provided by UP tourism on a rent of Rs 200. The tour which will start from Residency will end at Shahnajaf Imambara via Chotta and Bara Imambaras, he affirmed. Abhijat said a guide would accompany the tourists and provide information about the historical buildings.
In a bid to attract more tourists to Agra and Varanasi, the Uttar Pradesh government has slashed the value added tax (VAT) on jet fuel (aviation turbine fuel or ATF) from 21 percent to four percent to all flights coming to these two cities. According to Abhijaat, a government order has already been issued. He said this had been done essentially to encourage more and more flights to these destinations. “The idea is to encourage more and more chartered flights, private air carriers to start operations to these tourist hotspots,” Abhijaat added. Any plane, other than defence aircraft, at these twin cities would now on be given a VAT exemption of 17 per cent. The VAT exemption would be for all private carriers, daily fliers and charter flights. The tourism sector had been demanding slashing of the VAT for a long time.
Agra beyond Taj
Uttar Pradesh Tourism has recently promoted the ‘ Heritage Arc of Uttar Pradesh’ via its forward looking initiatives. The Heritage Arc of Uttar Pradesh traverses great epochs of Indian history, heritage, art, culture, myriad cuisine and spiritual traditions and runs across the heart of the state covering three very distinct regions- Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi. To develop the Heritage Arc and welcome more tourists to enjoy the marvels that the ‘City of Taj’ has to offer, the Agra Development Authority is developing an ‘Inner Ring Road’. It is a 5 km route from Kuberpur to Fatehabad Road that will connect the Yamuna Expressway to the Taj and will cut the travel time drastically letting tourists reach the Taj directly without any hassles. A Rs. 167 Crore Project for the development of Tajganj has also been started with the help of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The focus of the government is now on pro-poor tourism.The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to launch a bus service named 'Agra Darshan'
in the city soon
Amrit Abhijat Secretary Tourism Government of