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SBI Research Points to UP’s Spiritual Tourism & Ram Temple as Key Drivers of India’s Economic Growth

In a report released on January 21, SBI Research sheds light on the potential economic surge in India, attributing it to the country’s focus on spiritual tourism, particularly through initiatives like the Centre’s Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme. Uttar Pradesh (UP) is positioned to lead this economic wave, boosted by state-level efforts and the newly-opened Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

The report emphasises the considerable impact on India’s economy, with UP’s initiatives and the Ram Temple project estimated to contribute an additional tax revenue of INR 25,000 per annum for the state in the fiscal year 2025, driven by an expected increase in visitor numbers.

Spiritual tourism has been a transformative force in UP’s tourism landscape, resulting in upgraded physical and digital infrastructure, improved connectivity, and a substantial uptick in travel to historical sites.

UP, known for its revered destinations like the Ganga River, Varanasi, the Taj Mahal, and the recently inaugurated Ram Temple, has experienced a significant boost in domestic tourism. In 2022, an estimated 32 crore tourists visited the state, with Ayodhya alone witnessing a footfall of 2.21 crore. The collective expenditure by these tourists surpassed INR 2 lakh crore.

Foreign tourists, ranking UP as the fifth most visited state in India, contributed an additional INR 10,500 crore to the state’s economy, positioning UP for substantial economic gains.

The report underscores UP’s crucial role in India’s ambitious target of achieving a USD 5 trillion economy by fiscal year 2028. Projections suggest that UP, along with Maharashtra, will collectively contribute 10 per cent to India’s GDP and surpass the $500 billion mark by 2027, signifying India’s ascent to the third position in the global economy.

Highlighting UP’s economic prowess, the report notes its potential to surpass the economic output of European countries like Norway and Hungary by 2027. In FY23, UP contributed over 10 per cent to India’s Gross Value Added (GVA), showcasing growth opportunities in services, industry, and agriculture.

UP’s notable achievements in exports, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.1 per cent in FY2013-23, exceeding the national average, further solidify its promising trajectory in India’s economic landscape.

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