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Business News/ News / India/  Ram Mandir: Ayodhya to join Mecca, Vatican City as global pilgrim destinations after $10-billion makeover: Jefferies

Ram Mandir: Ayodhya to join Mecca, Vatican City as global pilgrim destinations after $10-billion makeover: Jefferies

With the Ram Mandir inauguration ceremony, ‘Pran Pratishtha’, by PM Modi, Ayodhya city is expected to open gates for religious tourism. Ayodhya is positioned as a global pilgrimage spots like the Vatican City and Mecca. The city is expected to see around 50 million to 100 million tourists annually.

Ayodhya: Ram Mandir consecration ceremony, in Ayodhya will start at 12:20 pm today. (PTI)Premium
Ayodhya: Ram Mandir consecration ceremony, in Ayodhya will start at 12:20 pm today. (PTI)

Pran Pratishtha: The consecration ceremony of Ram Temple is scheduled to start at 12:20 pm by PM Modi on January 22 in Ayodhya. With over $10 billion in investments made in new airports, revamped railway stations, townships, and improved roads, the city is expected to attract around 50 million to 10 million footfall every year, according to a report by Jefferies. Ram Mandir, Ayodhya, is seen as India's answer to the Vatican City and Mecca.

Also Read | Ram Mandir Inauguration Ceremony LIVE Updates: Ayodhya set to welcome Lord Ram, PM Modi to attend consecration ceremony

Religious tourism is a cornerstone of India's tourism sector, projected to reach $443 billion by FY33 with an 8 per cent CAGR. Ayodhya's Ram temple is built at an estimated cost of USD 225 million, with the cost being funded through contributions and donations. The city is expected to see a jump in pilgrims to around 100-150k per day.

Also Read | Ayodhya Ram Mandir Inauguration Highlights: Delhi govt declares holiday for schools running in general, morning shift

How is Ayodhya prepared?

Ayodhya has witnessed a surge in hotel construction and development. Currently, the city has approximately 17 hotels with around 590 rooms. To meet the anticipated increase in tourist arrivals, 73 new hotels are in the pipeline, with 40 of them already under construction, as per the report.

Several renowned hotel chains and hospitality companies, including IHCL (Indian Hotels Company Limited), Marriott International, Wyndham, and OYO Rooms, are planning on creating more hotels in Ayodhya.

The hospitality projects are expected to add significant room capacity to accommodate the growing number of tourists and pilgrims visiting Ayodhya.

Ayodhya's Phase I of the new airport is operational, becoming a milestone in facilitating air travel to and from the city.

The airport's Phase I, built at a cost of approximately approximately $175 million, has an annual handling capacity of 1 million passengers, the report added. Meanwhile, Ayodhya's international terminal is expected to be operational by 2025. Once operational, Phase II of the airport is expected to handle around 6 million passengers annually.

However, tourism in India has a lot to catch up. Tourism's contribution to India's GDP is around 6.8 per cent. India is positioned below most of the emerging and developed economies, the report further added.

In the broader context, India's Union Budget of 2023-24 allocated 2400 crore to the tourism sector. The central government started initiatives, including, the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, PRASHAD Scheme, and Adarsh Smarak Scheme are actively promoting integrated development, pilgrimage sites, and monument revitalization, became the additional driver.

Rise of Medical Tourism in India

Medical tourism in India is on the rise, the report added. Leading hospitals and healthcare facilities, such as Apollo Hospitals, Max Healthcare, Fortis Healthcare, and Medanta, are expected to benefit from the influx of international patients seeking specialized medical treatments, according to the report.

Additionally, the Government's initiatives like “Heal in India" and the allowance of 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the wellness and medical tourism segment have further supported the growth of medical tourism.



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Published: 22 Jan 2024, 09:33 AM IST
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