OYO founder says Ayodhya was more searched destination than hills or beaches on Dec 31

Ayodhya. In image PM Modi inaugurating Ayodhya Airport/ courtesy:PIB

#PMModi, #AyodhyaAirport, #RamTemple, #OYO, #Tourism

New Delhi/IBNS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Ayodhya‘s Maharishi Valmiki Airport and the newly renovated railway station on Dec 30 paving the way for the grand consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in the heart of Uttar Pradesh.

Not limited to this, the city of Ayodhya underwent a significant transformation ahead of the temple’s inauguration on Jan 22, with experts predicting a substantial surge in spiritual tourism.

The developments have brought a massive change in tourists as they plan holidays. While the usual rush during this time of the year is either hills or beaches, interestingly, the focus has now shifted to exploring Ayodhya.

Ritesh Agarwal, the founder and CEO of OYO, India’s leading chain of budget hotels, shared data on New Year’s Eve where he reflected on Ayodhya’s appeal as a tourist destination, surpassing even traditional favourites like hills or beaches.

On December 31, 80 per cent more users were searching for stays in Ayodhya, with the platform witnessing one of the highest spikes, Agarwal said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Na hills, na beaches!

80% more users are searching for stays in Ayodhya today! Seeing one of the highest spikes 👀 #CheckIn2024— Ritesh Agarwal (@riteshagar) December 31, 2023

The OYO founder concurred with a user’s prediction who said, “Ayodhya will be the biggest tourist place in India” and added that Banaras or Varanasi is doing exceptionally well.

In another post, Agarwal shared more data, comparing Goa, Ayodhya and Nainital – three regions in the country representing the mountains, beaches and a city in the plains with strong religious and spiritual significance.

“Ayodhya saw a 70 per cent jump in OYO app users compared to 60 per cent in Nainital and 50 per cent in Goa,” Agarwal said, adding that “Holy destinations are now India’s favourite destinations.”

Holy destinations are now India’s favourite destinations!🙏

Ayodhya saw a 70% jump in OYO app users vs Goa (50%) and Nainital (60%)

Spiritual tourism will be one of the biggest growth drivers of the tourism industry in the next 5 years. #CheckIn2024— Ritesh Agarwal (@riteshagar) December 31, 2023

“Spiritual tourism will be one of the biggest growth drivers of the tourism industry in the next 5 years,” he said.

PM Modi flagged off six Vande Bharat and two new Amrit Bharat trains. The Amrit Bharat trains, which are a new category of superfast passenger trains, feature the ‘push-pull’ technology, which increases their speed as well as passenger comfort.

The Ayodhya airport, which is called the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham, has been developed at a cost of over ₹ 1,450 crore. The airport’s terminal has an area of 6,500 sq m and will be equipped to serve about 10 lakh passengers annually.