Ayodhya’s tourism surge spurs hospitality challenges

According to The Business Standard, Since the consecration ceremony at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya, the city has experienced a significant surge in tourism, with daily footfall ranging from 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh pilgrims. However, the local hospitality sector is struggling to keep pace with this influx, indicating both opportunities and challenges for businesses operating in the region.

According to locals, the hospitality industry in Ayodhya is still in its infancy, gaining momentum only after the Supreme Court’s judgment in November 2019 regarding the temple. However, they are hopeful that the sector will witness development in terms of quality and affordability over the next 12-18 months. Currently, the city offers accommodation through a limited number of hotels, lodges, and homestays catering to devotees’ needs.

Efforts are underway to address this gap, with the construction of 142 hotels, including renowned brands like Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), initiated after the recent Global Investors’ Summit. The 2023 edition of the summit also saw significant investment intents worth approximately ₹18,000 crore for tourism development in Ayodhya.

However, despite these initiatives, tourists are demanding government support to accelerate the growth of the tourism industry in Ayodhya. Some visitors have reported challenges such as inflated prices charged by local agents and a lack of awareness about government-backed initiatives like the Holy Ayodhya app, which offers affordable homestay options regulated by district authorities.

According to sources, as the demand for accommodation surges, budget hotels have increased their rates by 25%, indicating potential profitability for businesses in the hospitality sector. However, there is a need for greater awareness among tourists, especially those from outside the state, regarding available options and government-supported initiatives aimed at enhancing their experience in Ayodhya.

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