Dr Shakti Kumar Pandey (Lucknow)
Cultural tourism is growing in the country, as more and more Indians are going to popular pilgrimages, like Varanasi in UP and Puri in Odisha, according to a report of Travel Company Ixigo.
The company officials say that there has been a month-on-month growth in hotel bookings of 60 per cent for Puri, 48 per cent for Varanasi, 34 per cent for Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and 19 per cent growth for Shirdi in Maharashtra.
The report is based on actual hotel searches and bookings on ixigo this summer. The report says that looking at the rise in hotel bookings, it can be said that cultural travel is now being considered as a new travel trend in India. The report also showed that Lucknow tops the list with about 13 per cent outbound train searches to these religious cities, followed by Mumbai with 7 per cent and Hyderabad with 6 per cent. Delhi ranked number four with 5 per cent train searches to these religious destinations, it added.
It may be mentioned that in order to support this upcoming trend, our government has allocated special budgets for creating infrastructure around religious places. New projects, circuits and train routes are being established to increase tourism at these pilgrimages.