Ayodhya takes centre stage

Inauguration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya has resulted in 10X surge in demand for the destination, as per a recent study. With projections of 300,000 visitors per day by 2031, Ayodhya is touted to be the next ‘it’ destination to visit – not just for pilgrims but also domestic and international leisure tourists.

Hazel Jain

A recent study by hotel management consultancy Hotelivate predicts a significant surge in travel and tourism at Ayodhya. Driven by the construction of Ram Mandir, 10.61 crore people are expected to visit Ayodhya annually by 2031, the report highlights. Currently, there are only two branded hotels in the budget and economy segment operational in Ayodhya, which is projected to require 8,500-12,500 branded hotel rooms in the medium to long term to meet the growing demand, the report says, adding that the strategic focus on Ayodhya’s development aligns with the growing trend of spiritual and religious tourism across India.

Strain on infrastructure

Daniel D’Souza, President & Country Head – Holidays, SOTC Travel, says, “The inauguration of Ram temple in Ayodhya has resulted in 10 times surge in demand for the destination. This heightened interest is observed across diverse customer segments, reflecting a shift in travel preferences. Our consumer data/ insights indicate that the demand for our Spiritual Journeys products is no longer restricted to traditional pilgrimages but a combination of spiritual breaks with unique local experiences. Keeping this in mind, we have expanded our Spiritual Journeys portfolio to feature special tours to Ayodhya.”

He, however, adds that addressing the strain on local infrastructure, including transportation and accommodations, is essential to ensure a seamless and positive experience for tourists.

Rajesh Shukla, Chief Strategist, National Intellectual Advisory, says that the number of tourists to Ayodhya has already gone up. “The construction of Ram Mandir will boom economic opportunity. The same has been considered by the Government of India, which has allocated `1 lakh crore exclusively for tourism. All top hotels brands, such as Hyatt, Fairmont, and JW Marriott, have already purchased land and started building hotels,” Shukla shares.

EaseMyTrip has just greenlit a proposal to venture into the hospitality sector with the establishment of a five-star hotel in Ayodhya. This is with an investment of up to `100 crores in Jeewani Hospitality. Nishant Pitti, CEO & Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip, says, “By leveraging our expertise in the tourism industry, coupled with Jeewani Hospitality’s commitment to excellence in hospitality, the venture is poised to set new standards in luxury accommodation in Ayodhya. The project not only underscores EaseMyTrip’s strategic diversification but also reflects its dedication to contributing to the growth of India’s tourism landscape.

 

 

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