As World Tourism Day Is Celebrated Across The Globe, Agra Has Little To Cheer About
Agra, Sep 27 (TNA) As the World Tourism Day is being celebrated across the globe on Tuesday, there is little to cheer for in Agra tour operators has little to cheer about as it continues to reel under the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism industry leaders say there was nothing much to look forward to as a number of their demands that could spurt growth had been rejected or put in cold storage.
The travel trade laments the lack of international air connectivity to Agra. Smaller cities have regular flights but not India's tourist destination number one. The hotel industry says it has been affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the falling graph of visitors staying overnight in Agra.
The Supreme Court is seized of crucial issues like declaring Agra a heritage city and imposing restrictions on industrial development. Tourism organisations in Agra on Tuesday organised the ritual welcome of tourists at railway station and at different hotels. But there was little else to commemorate the day. Fifty odd mobikes went around the Taj in a rally.
Agra is one of India's top tourist destinations. Yet, it lacks basic infrastructure and thus cannot take advantage of the interest generated in India and its tourist attractions. Leaders in the tourism and hospitality industry complain that there was a lack of vision and of will in the political leadership of Uttar Pradesh.
Even with three world heritage monuments, Agra has not been able to significantly increase the number of visitors. And those who visit often make brief trips. The Yamuna Expressway has made it easier for tourists to return the same day to Delhi. The city needs a comprehensive action plan for tourism development for the whole Braj region that includes Mathura, Vrindavan, Bateshwar and several important sites of religious importance, in the Braj mandal.
A leading tourism industry leader Sandip Arora said illegal hotels were a big problem. The war in Ukraine had created uncertainty. Travelling within India, had become very expensive. He said stake holders were never consulted in drawing up policies.