On the death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, heartening news of the Statue of Unity's resounding success as a tourist spot arrives, with 'nationalist pilgrims' flocking the site in large numbers: 5 crore per annum now, which is set to rise to 7.5 crore by 2020
Ahmedabad/New Delhi: After the Statue of Unity generated in November a revenue of Rs 6.38 crore from 2.79 lakh tourists, about 30,000 tourists are flocking to the site of the statue every day even in December.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's statue, the tallest in the world, stands tall in a river valley in Gujarat’s Narmada district. It is fast becoming one of the top tourist attractions of the country. The statue, conceived by the then chief minister of Gujarat and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2010, pays tribute to Independent India’s first Home Minister who was instrumental getting 562 princely states to accede to the Indian Union after Independence.
By 2020, the number of tourists the site will witness per annum will exceed 7.5 crore.
While Larsen & Toubro has been awarded a maintenance contract of Rs 657 crore for 15 years, about 60,000 tourists out of the 2.79 crore visited the Statue of Unity from other states between Diwali and the end of November.
As of now, the rate of footfall is 5 crore tourists per annum. "In the last five years, Gujarat tourism has been witnessing year-on-year growth of 17 per cent in footfalls with the count of visitors touching 5 crore last year," Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited's manager Sanatan Pancholi said.
With the addition of Statue of Unity and other tourist attractions, Gujarat will touch 75 million footfalls by 2020, considering the marketing campaigns launched by the state government in the domestic sector," he said.
"Over two lakh tourists, most of them domestic travellers, have already visited the Statue of Unity since its launch. There is curiosity and it is also a moment of pride for ever Indian to see something like this in the country," Pancholi said.
The statue would be an added attraction for tourists who come to Gujarat. It is a part of 'destination tourism', which would be extensively marketed in foreign countries apart from the domestic sector, he said.
"Gujarat tourism is concentrating on the domestic market and it is working wonders for us," he said, expressing hope that more foreign tourists will also visit the statue, which is touted as the tallest in the world.
Pancholi said the efforts made by then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in 2006 to promote the state as a tourist destination were fetching good results.
He attributed the tourism growth to Gujarat government's marketing and also its campaign featuring megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
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Last Updated 1:49 PM IST