Ayodhya's Tourism Surge Spurs Hospitality Industry Growth Amid Challenges

Following the consecration ceremony at the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya, the city has witnessed a remarkable surge in tourism, drawing daily footfall ranging from 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh pilgrims. However, the local hospitality sector is grappling to meet the demands of this influx, presenting both opportunities and hurdles for businesses operating in the region.

Locals reveal that Ayodhya's hospitality industry was relatively nascent, gaining traction primarily after the Supreme Court's landmark judgment in November 2019 concerning the temple. Nonetheless, there's optimism among residents that the sector will undergo significant development in terms of quality and affordability over the next 12-18 months. Presently, the city offers accommodations through a limited number of hotels, lodges, and homestays catering to devotees' needs.

To address the accommodation gap, efforts are underway, marked by the construction of 142 hotels, including renowned brands like Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), initiated post the recent Global Investors’ Summit. The 2023 edition of the summit witnessed substantial investment intents worth approximately Rs 18,000 crore earmarked for tourism development in Ayodhya.

However, despite these endeavors, tourists are advocating for government support to expedite the growth of Ayodhya's tourism industry. Some visitors have encountered 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.

Sources indicate that as the demand for accommodation skyrockets, budget hotels have hiked their rates by 25%, signaling potential profitability for businesses in the hospitality sector. Nevertheless, there remains a pressing need for greater awareness among tourists, especially those from outside the state, concerning available options and government-supported initiatives aimed at enhancing their Ayodhya experience.