Member of
IATO - Indian Association Of Tour Operators
ASTA - American Society of Travel Agents
TWA - Tourism Welfare Association

Tourism in Uttar Pradesh

In 1956 Tourism Department and in 1972 Directorate of Tourism has been established in UP. But separation of Uttarakhand in 2000 gave a blow to the tourism industry of UP as major forest reserves and natural Himalayan resources went to Uttarakhand. In 1998 UP gave status of Industry to tourism. In 2000-01 UP announced a new Tourism Policy to attract tourist and develop its tourism industry. In new policy a new system of Tourist Police has envisaged to aid tourist. In 2016 it has also signed major Tourism Projects to make Film Industry and attract investment in Tourism. It has promoted many new initiatives like Discover Your Roots Project (for those NRIs and OCIs who want o look for their ancestral houses in state), Home Stay programme (to make tourist feel like home and provide them comfortable stay at tourist resorts) and Paying Guest Programme (any person could rent maximum 5 rooms of their house to accommodate tourists). For employment of youth in Tourism Industry it has also established a Kansiram Tourism Management Institute. It has also collaborated with policies and programme initiated by Central Government, Incredible India Bed and Breakfast is one such initiative.

Government has started State Capital Investment Grant Programme to develop tourism as enterprise. One Table System is a programme to bring more investment in the field of tourism. Tourism has assumed a multi-dimensional identity attracting avid and well informed tourists with higher level of disposable incomes. Tourists, today, are increasingly in search of unique tourism products and destinations. In view of infinite possibilities in tourism sector, strategic and organized tourist activities are needed to make the state a major tourist attraction. Uttar Pradesh is one of the most favoured states for tourists in India with a consistent ranking amongst the top states in terms of tourist arrivals. In 2014 it was ranked 2nd in terms of total tourist arrivals, 2nd in terms of domestic tourist arrivals and 3rd in terms of foreign tourist arrivals amongst Indian states.

The Tourism industry in Uttar Pradesh has a significant contribution to the state’s economic growth. The contribution of tourism to employment generation both direct and indirect is of immense importance to the state.

Uniqueness of Uttar Pradesh Uttar Pradesh is endowed with a varied spectrum of tourism offerings. These range from wonder of the world (Taj Mahal – Agra) to unique cultural and religious hotspots like Varanasi, Braj (Mathura, Vrindavan, Goverdhan), Awadh (Lucknow, Ayodhya) i. U.P. is the only state which is abode of one of the wonders of the world “Taj Mahal” which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

U.P. is home to some very important Hindu pilgrim centres of India viz. Krishna Janmabhoomi (Mathura), Ram Janmabhoomi (Ayodhya), Sangam (Allahabad), Baba Vishwanath (Varanasi), Maa Vindhyavasani (Vindhyachal) etc.

Uttar Pradesh has a plethora of unique wildlife especially in the Terai region of Dudhwa National Park and Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, which is endowed with unique floral and faunal biodiversity.

Dudhwa National Park of U.P. is the only protected area (other than Kaziranga National Park, Assam) where one can see one horned rhinoceros along with national animal tiger. It is also the only place in India where one can see 5 species of deer viz. sambhar deer, swamp deer, spotted deer, barking deer and hog deer

Department of Tourism has recently introduced the Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc which is gaining all round appreciation. It connects three most important tourism hubs of U.P. i.e. Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi. It is bound to boost tourism as it covers the true essence of Uttar Pradesh, by offering a gamut of cultural, religious and heritage tourism assets.

Apart from Heritage Arc Circuit, UP has some very interesting and potential tourism circuits and trails, such as Buddhist Circuit, Pilgrimage Circuit – Kashi - Sangam, Mathura – Vrindavan, Allahabad – Vindhyachal, Ayodhya Trail, Sufi Trail – Lucknow - Deva Sharif; Ittra Trail – Kannauj, The Great Awadh Circuit – Lucknow, Heritage Trail – Lucknow, Cycling Trail – Lucknow, Taj Nature Tour, Agra Heritage Tour, Agra – Braj Tour; Rhino – Tiger Circuit – Dudhwa National Park, Awadh Bird Trail, Mango Trail, etc.

The cuisine of Uttar Pradesh is just as diverse as its geography. The main genre of U.P is Awadhi, famed for its Dumpukht (food cooked on slow fire).

Uttar Pradesh is also home to rich textiles, crafts, dance/drama, and legacy of musicians adding to the exquisiteness of tourism offerings in the state.

Development of New Tourist Destinations : In the Tourism Policy of 1998; seven circuits had been identified for tourism development. These will be reorganized and new attractions will be added to them. The circuits identified in 1998 were:

Seven new circuits will be added to this series:

  • Heritage Arc (Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi) region
  • Mahabharata Circuit (areas connected to the Mahabharata era)
  • Ramayana Circuit (areas connected to the Ramayana era)
  • Jain Circuit (areas connected to the Jain faith)
  • Sufi Circuit (prominent areas connected to Sufism)
  • Freedom Struggle Circuit (areas connected to the independence movement)
  • Craft, Cuisine and Culture trail (cultural centres connected to handicrafts, cuisine and special cultural activities)

Plan to promote Ecotourism

  • The Department of Tourism will provide civic and tourist amenities in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries jointly along with Forest Department to ensure visitor satisfaction.
  • Nature Interpretation Centres, Nature Camps, Boating, Nature Tour Programs etc. shall be organized.
  • While encouraging wildlife tourism it shall be ensured that it does not disturb, deteriorate or have any negative impact on the environment.
  • Planning for such destinations will be done by engaging the local communities to ensure equitable distribution of benefits and socio-economic upliftment of the local population.
  • Trained eco-tourism guides and naturalists shall be trained and certified in co-ordination with the Forest Department

Niche Products of Uttar Pradesh Tourism Policy 2016

Development of Niche Products
Adventure Tourism
Sports Tourism
Cultural Tourism
Craft , Handloom and Textile Tourism
Rural Tourism
MICE Tourism
Medical Tourism
Wellnes Tourism
Film Tourism

Plan to promote Adventure Tourism

  • Private sector participation will be encouraged to develop adventure tourism activities like- rock climbing, bungee jumping, aero sports activities like hot air ballooning, paragliding, parasailing and water sports centres etc. will be developed.
  • There will be an arrangement of special incentives to start adventure tourism activities in Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions. Plans to Promote Cultural Tourism

Plans to Promote Cultural Tourism

  • The Department will keep on organising several Mahotsavas and events to promote cultural tourism.
  • Financial assistance will be provided for organising traditional fairs iii. The dates of fairs/festivals will be publicized for the next ten years in the publicity materials and events of the state Craft / Handloom and Textile Tourism
    • Moradabad’s craft industry, Bhadohi’s carpet industry, Agra’s inlay work and Zardoji, Varanasi’s silk industry, Gorakhpur’s terracota, Nijamabad and Khurja’s pottery industry and Lucknow’s chikan industry are world famous.
    • Shilpgrams, Shilp Bazaars and Shilp Mela will be established across the state to promote UP’s rich Handicraft legacy.
    • The state shall develop textile tourism circuits to promote the indigenous art by linking it to major tourist destinations. Rural Tourism under Rural Tourism Policy, villages will be identified which are associated with special art forms or handicraft, music genre with a view to introduce foreign tourists and encourage their stay in the state. This shall enable tourists to experience special village cuisine, culture and arts. Comprehensive village development plans to be prepared to boost tourism in rural areas for Promotion of Self Employment in Tourism Sector To enhance the employment opportunities in tourism industry a grant of up to INR 10 Lakhs can be availed by fast food centres, souvenir shops, operation of buses, taxies, adventure sports, camp sites, garages, etc. MICE Tourism Conference, convention and exhibitions have today become an intrinsic part of Tourism. To project Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming years as a MICE destination department of tourism will take the following initiatives.

Locations for Niche Tourism Products

In collaboration with private entrepreneurs Convention centres will be established for trade fair, seminar, exhibition etc. in Noida, Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi which are ideal tourism centres for MICE tourism in Uttar Pradesh. Private entrepreneurs will be provided land on priority to invest in Conventions. The new Convention Centres being constructed will be provided rebate in taxes for the first five years of business.

Besides tourism in field of Medical Tourism, Promoting indigenous medication that has no side effect and sought after by tourists shall be promoted. Medical rehabilitation centres in Lucknow and Agra will be established. State has many centres of ancient Ayurvedic Medication Centres. Overall State of Uttar Pradesh is going to establish and promote all the potential areas for better reach of tourists and for self-sustenance of its people.

S. No. Tourism Segment Potential Locations
1. Ecotourism and Wildlife Dudhwa, Katerniaghat, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Chambal WLS and other bird sanctuaries etc.
2. Adventure Tourism / Aero Sports / Water Sports Aero Sports- Devangana Valley (Chitrakoot), Kalinjar (Banda) Water Sports - Urmil Sagar (Mahoba), Charkhari (Mahoba), Gadhmau, Pahuj Dam, Baruasagar —Jhansi; Talbehat , Govindsagar, Jakhlaun, Sumera Talab — Lalitpur, Adventure/Camping — Deogarh
3. Sports Tourism FlTrack Greater Noida, Golf course in Noida and Lucknow, Badminton Academy in Lucknow, International Cricket Stadium in Kanpur
4. Cultural Tourism Lucknow , Varanasi, Mathura etc.
5. Crafts/Handloom and Textiles Lucknow, Badhoi, Varanasi, Allahabad, Azamgarh, Kanpur, Agra, Bareilly, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Khurja, Pilkhua
6. Rural Tourism Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Azamgarh
7. MICE Tourism Noida, Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra
8. Medical Tourism Noida, Lucknow
9. Wellness Tourism Varanasi, Agra,
10. Film Tourism Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kanpur, Noida, Jhansi, Mathura, Vrindavan

Top Things to do in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh At a Glance
  • Population:3,676,841
  • Area :1,535 sq.kms
  • Geo Location:North
  • Average Climate:5°C - 20°C
  • Best time to visit:October - March
  • STD Code:0542

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