(News Trust of India ): India’s existing domestic tourist spots are already experiencing a surge in visitor numbers, but there are also new tourist locations emerging.
Ayodhya is becoming a popular tourist spot, according to Ritesh Agarwal, the CEO of Oyo Rooms. “Sacred places have become India’s preferred destinations!” he shared on X. Ayodhya experienced a 70% increase in the number of OYO app users, compared to Goa with a 50% increase and Nainital with a 60% increase. According to him, spiritual tourism would significantly contribute to the expansion of the tourism business in the next 5 years.
Agarwal had previously mentioned that Oyo Rooms was experiencing greater demand in Ayodhya compared to traditional vacation spots. No hills, no beaches! Today, there has been an 80% increase in the number of users searching for accommodations in Ayodhya. Seeing one of the highest spikes,” he added.
Ayodhya, of course, is preparing for the inauguration of the Ram Mandir on January 22nd this year. The consecration marks the culmination of a 500-year-long war over the site, which has now seen the reconstruction of a majestic temple at Lord Ram’s birthplace. The event would bring guests from all around the country, including PM Narendra Modi and other prominent dignitaries.
And Ayodhya is gearing ready to greet tourists who will throng from all over India to witness the newly-constructed temple. Ayodhya has built a brand-new airport, and its first aircraft landed just a week ago. The city’s station is also being refurbished, and has been renamed to Ayodhya Dham. In addition, hundreds of new hotels and restaurants have come up in the city in anticipation for the visitor inflow.
Over the last few years, India has concentrated on building several such religious tourism locations. The Kashi Vishwanath corridor was completed last year, which saw record numbers of tourists visit Varanasi – while the city had only one 5-star hotel till a few years ago, it now boasts over 1,200 small and big hotels. The Char Dham highway has been completed, which connects the religious locations of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, and it has enabled thousands of tourists to visit what were once far-flung and inaccessible areas. Other sites, notably the Somnath temple and other temples in Kashmir, have also been renovated.
All this has meant a spike in economic activity in these spots. There are some apparent benefactors to the rise of these tourist locations, such hotel booking platforms and travel sites, but the benefits can flow downstream and revive the economies in these areas. And startups and businesses will attempt to tap into this new trend and look to provide value — both to themselves and their consumers — in the coming years.