OYO Founder Says That On December 31, Ayodhya Was More Popular Than Hills Or Beaches

Ayodhya saw a major change in preparation for the temple’s opening on January 22, and experts anticipated a large increase in spiritual tourism.

On December 30, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the recently refurbished railway station and Maharishi Valmiki Airport in Ayodhya, laying the groundwork for the big consecration event of the Ram Temple. Before the temple opened on January 22, the city of Ayodhya experienced a tremendous metamorphosis, and experts projected a major increase in spiritual tourism.

On New Year’s Eve, Ritesh Agarwal, the CEO and creator of OYO, the largest chain of affordable hotels in India, revealed data. The data highlighted how popular Ayodhya is with tourists, even more so than classic favourites like beaches or hills. In a tweet on X (previously Twitter), Mr. Agarwal stated that on December 31, the site saw one of the biggest jumps in searches for stays in Ayodhya, with an increase of 80%. When another user asked, “What happened to Varanasi in the last 3 years the tourist influx, much more than that expected for Ayodhya?” the OYO founder agreed with the user’s prediction that “Ayodhya will be the biggest tourist place in India” and added that Banaras, or Varanasi, is doing exceptionally well.

Mr. Agarwal provided more data in a different post, comparing Goa, Ayodhya, and Nainital—three distinct places in the country that symbolise mountains, beaches, and a plains city with deep 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,” Mr Agarwal stated, adding that “Holy destinations are now India’s favourite destinations.”

“Spiritual tourism will be one of the biggest growth drivers of the tourism industry in the next 5 years,” he stated. Two new Amrit Bharat trains and six Vande Bharat trains were launched off by Prime Minister Modi. The Amrit Bharat trains are a new kind of ultrafast passenger trains that use ‘push-pull’ technology to improve both passenger comfort and speed.

On January 4, the Vande Bharat trains that Prime Minister Modi signed off will begin running. The train will travel six days a week between Ayodhya and Delhi’s Anand Vihar station, stopping in Kanpur and Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Three Vande Bharat trains—the other two being the Gorakhpur-Lucknow and New Delhi-Varanasi trains—will leave from Uttar Pradesh.

At a cost of more than ₹ 1,450 crore, the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport Ayodhya Dham is the name of the airport in Ayodhya. The 6,500 square metre airport terminal would be equipped to handle roughly 10 lakh passengers a year. Airline companies plan to provide service to and from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Ahmedabad in order to accommodate the thousands of visitors that the Ram Temple is projected to receive each day following the sacred ritual.



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