Uttar Pradesh, formerly known as United Provinces during the Colonial Era, is one of the states in India with a lot of history attached to it thanks to locations such as Agra, Varanasi, and Lucknow. The state government started to make use of the same by instituting a programme named Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc back in 2015. At the time of its inauguration it was expected that this step will help boost tourism in the state to a significant extent. Lucknow has a rich history of Nawabi rule and till this day it carries the torch of Nawabi etiquette and manners. Agra is already known around the world for its architectural marvels such as Taj Mahal.
Importance of Varanasi
Varanasi is regarded by many within India, as well as outside the country, as the cradle of Hindu religion and this is why it is not unusual to see foreigners thronging to this holy city in search of their knowledge of Hinduism and Sanskrit. Yadav himself believed that if properly implemented this project would start a new dimension in the state’s tourism sector.
Main aim of starting the programme
As had been stated on 24 February 2015 by Akhilesh Yadav, while starting the UP-Travel Mart 2015, at the Lamartiniere College Ground in Lucknow, the main aim of this programme was to make sure that people visiting Agra would come and visit Lucknow and Varanasi as well.
Need of publicity
As the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has so rightly stated there is plenty of potential for tourism in the state. However, it was lagging behind because of lack of proper publicity. He also said, a year back, as to how his state was unable to keep pace with the rest of the world that was racing ahead at the rate of knots. In order to elucidate his point, Yadav had said that several other countries in the world had been able to make tourism an industry and this had greatly benefited their economy. The state government in Uttar Pradesh, according to Yadav, had been working in the same direction as well and the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc was an integral part of the same.
As Yadav rightly pointed out, a healthy and thriving tourism industry would indeed create a lot of jobs and that will mean that the state is able to embark on a path of progress. Regarding the tourism potential in the state, Yadav correctly brought up the various historic monuments and rivers that dot the length and breadth of the state. One of the works that the state government has been doing in this regard for the past year is beautification of banks of River Gomti in Lucknow.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc is a programme that needs to be praised as it shows the intention of the state administration to work in the right direction. However, the state government needs to take a more proactive role in making sure that the programme can become the raging success that all in the state are willing it to be. Just starting a programme may not be enough, no matter how good the intention is. The authorities need to make sure that the facilities – hotels, roads, transport, electricity, internet connectivity on road and in hotels, quality and variety of food for international tourists – is of the best possible quality so that foreign tourists do not get turned off by the experience of visiting these places.
After all, these are not Indian tourists and they cannot be expected to adjust to below par service or facilities. Considering, how vocal they can be on social media anything less than expected can affect the state’s reputation and dent its chances. It is also important that the state government has a good tourism portal from where tourists can get better information regarding these places, as well as others that are worth a visit while in these regions. It should enable booking of hotels as well. These websites need to be updated as frequently as possible so that people feel interested in checking them. Presence on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is also essential as that will enhance visibility and viability as a tourism destination.