‘Kumbh to boost business by Rs 12000 cr’

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The Kumbh Mela starting in Allahabad from Monday is expected to generate additional employment opportunities for more than 6 lakh people in various sectors like airlines, hotels, and religious and eco-tourism. Also, it is likely to generate business worth not less that Rs 12,000 crore.

According to a forecast paper on Kumbh Mela 2013, brought out by Assocham, along with the organised sectors, unorganised sector activities will also get maximum economic gains from the Kumbh.

As per the paper, about 1 million international foreign tourists are expected to visit India during Kumbh for site seeing. More than 250 million people are expected to take the holy dip this year compared to 30 million in the 2001 Kumbh, it added.

Assocham secretary general D S Rawat predicted that Australia, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka will be the main countries from where tourists' arrivals are expected.

The paper claimed that the hotel industry is aiming at 100 per cent occupancy rate for Kumbh which currently is about 70 per cent and will witness a growth of 25 per cent from the current growth rate of 15 per cent. The arrival of national and international media in large numbers and 20-30 days' stay of foreign tourists in India are likely to employ over 2.5 lakh skilled and unskilled workforce, it stated.

" Apart from Allahabad, other nearby states like Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Kota), Uttarakhand (Nainital, Mussoorie, Auli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Ranikhet, Almora), UP (Agra, Lucknow), Punjab (Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana), Himachal Pradesh (Shimla, Kufri, Manali), where large number of foreign tourists are expected to explore tourist destinations, will also be the major beneficiaries in revenue generation," said Rawat.

The forecast paper predicted that UP Tourism, privately owned hospitals, traders, railway and international airport are likely to earn revenue of over Rs 1,500 crore through increased inflow of foreign and domestic tourists by offering attractive tour packages and medical tourism facilities.

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