Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh will soon be forming a "historical arch" along Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi to promote tourism in the state, an official said after the maiden meeting of the state tourism promotion board chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
The state government has also decided to release additional funds for laying roads around major tourist spots in the state, including the Tajganj area around Taj Mahal in Agra.
Speaking at the meeting, Akhilesh Yadav asked the tourism department to tap the potential of the state. Deliberating on the Ganga-Jamuni culture of Lucknow, he said arrangements were being made to illuminate the ancient heritage buildings and monuments in the state capital.
Basic infrastructre facilities were being improved around key monuments like the Roomi Gate, Ghantaghar, the Imambadas and others.
He also said that an MoU was signed with FICCI for UP Travel Mart.
The chief minister stated that various projects for Bundelkhand, Sufi circuit and Avadh will be made and implemented.
Elaborating on the theme park in Agra, the chief minister said that a museum about the Mughal era would also be established.
Noting Uttar Pradesh was bestowed with world class monuments, historical and cultural heritage, religious sites, natural and wildlife sites which tempt tourists from the country and world across, he stressed on the need to create a good environment around tourist sites, beautify them and improve the traffic situation.
Yadav also said that the Lion Safari in Etawah and various other natural tourist destinations offered unlimited potential to draw tourists for which serious and sustained efforts will have to be made.
He also assured that fund availability will never be a constraint for the tourism sector.
The chief minister said that to promote tourism in Agra and Varanasi, the government was consider slashing of VAT on aviation turbine fuel from 21 per cent to 4 percent.
The meeting also discussed issues like major publicity of tourism spots, strengthening, beautification of tourist destinations and infrastructure development around them.
To promote tourist destinations in the state, the UP Travel Mart will be organised for five years at national and international level in coordination with FICCI. Plans are also afoot to explore possibilities of providing wi-fi facility at the major tourist destinations and establishing of a Lucknow Panorama.
The first Travel Mart will be organized here Feb 22-24, 2015.
On the occasion, social worker and eminent film maker Muzaffar Ali expressed happiness at the pro-active role played by the present government in promoting tourism and assured all possible help to promote UP on the global tourism map.