The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department has envisaged a plan for the targeted, innovative and adequate marketing of tourism to popularise the tourist spots in the state.
After losing several tourist destinations of historical and religious importance to Uttarakhand such as Haridwar, Dehradun and Badrinath, the state is on its way to re discover sites to attract people within the state.
The UPTD has introduced some user-friendly tour packages. The touring package includes visiting sites in an air conditioned bus or a more traditional ride of a 'tanga', the horse driven royal carriage of the nawabs.
Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma, director, general tourism, and managing director, Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation said, "We are introducing convenient and attractive tour packages for the whole family under the name of weekend getaways. The concept is of a family get-together at set prices."
The number of tourists visiting Uttar Pradesh last year was 106.8 million, of which 1.3 million were foreigners.
The first such tour package developed by the department is for Lucknow-Ayodhya-Faizabad. The package will provide an air conditioned car to the visitors and lunch on the way along with sight seeing.
For a family of 3-4, the price is Rs 2, 990 and for a family of 7-8 members, it will cost Rs 3, 990. Depending upon the size of the family, the car provided will be Tata Indica, Ambassador, Qualis or Tavera. The places of tourist's interest at Ayodhya include Hanuman Garhi, Kanak Bhawan, Ramkot, Swarg Dwar, Nageshwarnath Temple and Ram Janam Bhumi.
"After Ayodhya, the tour would head towards Faizabad, which was once the capital of Awadh. Places of interest here include Gulab Bari and Bahu Begum Ka Maqbara. It's a day long tour without a night stay," said Sharma.
"Till now, the concentration on promoting Lucknow as a tourist spot had been confined to the imambaras, Residency and other historical places only. However the adjoining areas to the state promises a mix of other religious and historical sites that can be well explored by the tourists," Sharma said.
These include Bakshi-ka-talab, Chandrikadevi mandir, Dewa sharief (Barabanki), Neemeshar (Sitapur) and Kakori (Malihabad).
"The areas those are still untouched from tourist point of view need to be promoted adequately in front of the visitors as the customers today want value for money. In the near future packages for Meerut-Hastinapur and Agra- Mathura will also be worked upon," Sharma said.
In addition to this, a tour package for Allahabad city called the Prayag Allahabad darshan was made available for the visitors from the June 10.
"For the first time, we are arranging for a cruise trip on sangam, (the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati) besides visiting places like Anand Bhawan, Saint Cathedral, Khusru Bagh etc."