Lucknow: Airlines, hotels, tour operators and Uttar Pradesh in general are likely to reap a windfall during the Maha Kumbh Mela in the state with the government likely to see its coffers swelling by Rs 12,000 crore, according to an industry body. Assocham's paper 'Maha Kumbh Mela 2013 - Possible Revenue Generation Resources for Uttar Pradesh' says that the pilgrimage would generate additional employment opportunities for over six lakh workers in sectors spanning airlines and airports, hotels, tours, infrastructure and also trigger a surge in medical and eco-tourism.
The unorganised sector also stands to gain substantially from the Maha Kumbh, which will begin on January 27 and conclude on February 25, says the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham). A large number of foreign tourists are expected to attend the Kumbh Mela with Assocham Secretary General DS Rawat saying that visitors would be arriving from as far apart as Australia, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
The hospitality industry in the region is targeting 100 per cent occupancy across the board in small, budget and luxury hotels during the Maha Kumbh. Apart from UP, states like Rajasthan (Jaipur, Jabalpur, Udaipur, Bhilwara, Kota), Uttarkhand (Nainital, Mussoorie, Aulli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Ranikhet, Almora), Punjab (Amrtisar, Ludhiana) and Himachal Pradesh (Shimla, Kufri, Manali, Panchkula), too, will majorly benefit from the enhanced revenue generation with a large number of foreign tourists expected to explore other destinations," Rawat said.
Uttar Pradesh Tourism and the Railways are likely to share in a revenue bonanza of a whopping Rs 1,500 crore along with airports and private hospitals by offering attractive tours and medical tourism packages to the foreign and domestic visitors thronging the region, the Assocham paper says.
"The Maha-Kumbh will generate much direct and indirect business activities, the fruits of which would hopefully benefit the masses of Uttar Pradesh," Rawat said. The paper suggests that the overall business in the course of the two months of the Kumbh Mela could be worth between Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 crore.
According to the sector-wise break-up devised by ASSOCHAM, the Kumbh employment generation figures are likely going to be as follow: Hotels 2.5 lakh jobs; Airlines and airports 1.5 lakh; Tour operators 45,000, Eco-tourism and medical tourism 50,000 and Skilled and unskilled workers for construction/ renovation 85,000. Add 55,000 new jobs in the unorganised sector comprising tour guides, taxi drivers, interpreters, volunteers, etc and the employment generation potential of the festival stands at a massive 6.35 lakh jobs.