Kopar Khairane

How the Yogi Adityanath administration intends to draw tourists to Uttar Pradesh for destination weddings

The Uttar Pradesh government is prepared to market its forts and palaces as destination wedding locations in an effort to boost the state's economy and take a cue from Rajasthan. The action has been conducted in accordance with the Tourism Policy-2022, which aims to build Uttar Pradesh an economy worth a trillion dollars by 2027. A proposal on the subject is anticipated to be discussed at the cabinet meeting very soon, according to an official. “Uttar Pradesh is a very attractive place to make marriage memorable with royal pomp and cultural heritage,” said Mukesh Kumar Meshram, the UP's principal secretary for tourism and culture, to PTI. Apart from the Taj Mahal, Meshram said that the state is full with forts and palaces, all of which have the potential to serve as wedding destinations.

“There are several locations that are connected to Bajirao-Mastani's intense love, including Mahoba's 'Mastani Mahal' and Mathura-Vrindavan, the city of spiritual love. There is also Chunar fort. In Bundelkhand, there are many palaces, each of which has a unique history. We will all be highlighted,” he added. A state official said that between November 2022 and March 2023, Rajasthan saw roughly 40,000 weddings. According to him, the state's marriage industry, which had a revenue of roughly Rs 2,500 crore, suffered as a result of the COVID epidemic. Meshram claims that during the epidemic, the amount of tourists—domestic or foreign—who flocked to Varanasi or the Taj for destination weddings decreased. But now, he said, things are improving.

Ten historical-mythological sites, including the Chunar Fort in Mirzapur, Chattar Manzil in Lucknow, Jal Mahal in Barsana in Mathura, and Barua Sagar in Jhansi, are prominent among the 100 locations in the state that the tourism department has identified. According to Meshram, these locations may start operating as of the next year, and the plan is prepared to be presented to the state cabinet. “The programme will be developed on a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) basis and all the facilities will be provided in the same premises without making any changes to the original architecture of our heritage forts and palaces,” he said. Meshram said that the concept is in accordance with those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath, who wish to boost the state's economy while also conserving its legacy, particularly in the Bundelkhand areas.

The tourism department's deputy director said that UP has the opportunity to step up and fill the gap left by Rajasthan's absence from the market for destination weddings. In the Madhya Pradesh city of Orchha, there are several such wedding sites. The neighbouring Barua Sagar fort might be a possibility if there are no available reservations there, he said. According to him, the Jhansi queen used to convene her court in the seven and a half acre Barua Sagar fort on the Jhansi-Khajuraho route during the summer.

According to Vijay Kumar, president of the All India Tent Dealers Welfare Organisation in the state, the decision would significantly benefit a number of industries, including transportation, photography, jewellery, textile, confectionery, music, and catering, as well as many others involved in the wedding industry. Big hotel chains from India and beyond have shown interest in using the PPP model ever since this conversation began, according to Meshram.

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