Smt. Rita Bahuguna Joshi
“Uttar Pradesh Tourism will be working towards creating a sustainable, pro-growth, and pro-poor ecosystem.”
Q: How would you define Uttar Pradesh as a tourism destination?
Uttar Pradesh is the fourth largest state in India, with an approximate area of 2,40,928 sq. km. It is also the most populous state in the country, with a population of 199.5 million (2011). Uttar Pradesh is one of the most favoured state for tourists in India, with a consistent ranking amongst the top states in terms of tourist arrivals. The contribution of tourism to employment generation, both direct and indirect, is of immense importance to the state.
Q: What is focus of Uttar Pradesh Tourism?
The new tourism policy proposes aggressive initiatives, attractive incentives and requisite regulatory reforms, that will help ensure large scale investment support, through efficient management and private participation.
Q: What is the Uttar Pradesh Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project?
The Uttar Pradesh Pro-Poor Tourism Development Project (the Project), funded by the World Bank, aims to unlock the potential of the unique heritage of Uttar Pradesh through pro-poor tourism development for inclusive growth and poverty reduction in asset-rich but particularly low-income areas of the state.
Q: How important is sustainable tourism/inclusive tourism to Uttar Pradesh?
You can see the importance from our Mission in the Tourism policy. To improve local entrepreneurship avenues, we have identified local tourism events and festivals. These tourism and events will also encourage artists, artisans and local entrepreneurs to display their talent, wares. We a;lso aim to get more international focus on these events and city based mahotsavs.
Engagement of local communities to ensure equitable distribution of benefits and socio-economic upliftment of the locals.
Heritage & Culture Tourism will also be promoted nationally and internationally. Several initatives to promote conservation, awareness and sensitivity is being worked up. The department will form a special task force with experts/consultants to organize cultural events, food festivals and other art based festivals. The department will promote Vedic science practices within the tourist area as a theme. The department, with the help of local players of agri market and tour operators, will develop special tour packages for promoting agri tourism.
To promote regional crafts industry of various districts, like Moradabad’s craft, Bhadohi’s carpet, Agra’s inlay work and Zardoji, Varanasi’s silk, Gorakhpur’s terracotta, Nijamabad & Khurja’s pottery and Lucknow’s Chikan.
Villages known for special form of handicrafts, music, dance or art will be identified and introduced to the urban and foreign tourists to encourage their stay in the state. This will enable tourists to experience special village cuisine, culture, art and lifestyle.
To drive a sense of inclusive tourism development in the local community of Uttar Pradesh, and make optimum use of the tourism experiences across vibrant cities, attractions, nature, wildlife, adventure, food, handicraft (including the promotion of ‘One District One Product Scheme’), heritage, religion and culture of Uttar Pradesh.
Q: Tell us a bit about the upcoming Kumb Mela in 2019 and your preparations?
UNESCO recognized ‘Kumbh Mela’ as India’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’. Mahakumbh 2013 witnessed a total of 78.66 987 million tourist arrivals in the state. For the upcoming Allahabad Kumbh 2019, the department will strive to create more awareness on its spiritual significance and also promote it nationally and internationally. We also will strive to provide safety, best touristic facilities and infrastructure to ensure a good experience.