As Ayodhya prepares for the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony of the Ram Mandir today (22 January), the city is undergoing a remarkable transformation, positioning itself as a major tourist and pilgrimage destination.
With over $10 billion invested in infrastructure projects, including new airports and improved roads, Ayodhya is set to welcome 50 to 100 million visitors annually, according to a report by Jefferies, Livemint reported.
Religious tourism stands as a foundational element in India's tourism sector, with projections indicating a growth to $443 billion by FY33 at an 8 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
The city is also expected to see a jump in pilgrims to around 100-150,000 per day.
To meet the rising demand, Ayodhya is gearing up for a boom in hotel construction.
Currently, the city has 17 hotels with around 590 rooms, and an additional 73 hotels are in the pipeline, with 40 already under construction.
Also, major hotel chains like IHCL (Indian Hotels Company Limited), Marriott International, Wyndham, and OYO Rooms are actively participating in expanding the city's hospitality sector.
The completion of Phase I of Ayodhya's new airport, operational with an annual capacity of 1 million passengers, marks a crucial step in enhancing connectivity.
The international terminal is expected to be operational by 2025, and Phase II aims to handle around 6 million passengers annually.
The Union Budget of 2023-24 had allocated Rs 2400 crore to the tourism sector, supporting initiatives like the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, PRASHAD Scheme, and Adarsh Smarak Scheme.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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