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Madhya Pradesh records over 11 cr visitors in 2023; Ujjain sees the highest footfall

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Renowned for its rich cultural heritage, glorious history, natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and spiritual experiences, Madhya Pradesh welcomed over 11 crore tourists between January 2023 to December 2023, setting a new record for the state, as per Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board data.

This remarkable achievement is a significant milestone in Madhya Pradesh's tourism industry. It has surpassed pre-Covid level and established the state as a premier tourist destination in India.

Talking to ANI on the increasing number of tourists in the state, Shiv Shekhar Shukla, Principal Secretary and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, said, "The number has crossed pre-Covid number crossed for the first time in the state."

The growing number of tourists at spiritual and religious places has been observed in recent years in the country.

Ujjain, known for Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple and the fifth-largest city welcomed over 5 crore 28 lakh tourists, becoming the top tourist spot in Madhya Pradesh.

On the establishment day of Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC), Shukla said, "With 11.21 crore (112.1 million) tourists last year, the state has witnessed a remarkable increase in visitor numbers compared to 3.41 crore (34.1 million) in 2022."

According to Shukla, new airports will be built in Rewa and Datia to improve air connectivity.

"Tourism has increased at religious and Sanskrit places in the state. After the construction of Mahakal Lok in Ujjain, the number of religious tourists has increased. Due to the facilities that have been developed in the Mahakal Lok Parisar, even a huge number of tourists are successfully being managed," he said.

Under the investment policy, the board has invited investors to invest in the state, Shukla said adding that response from investors has been good. "There will be better brands and hotels in the coming times," he highlighted.

With its rich tapestry of experiences, Madhya Pradesh caters to a wide range of travellers, from history buffs and nature enthusiasts to spiritual seekers and adventure enthusiasts.

The state's diverse offerings, including ancient forts, serene temples, captivating wildlife sanctuaries, and vibrant cultural festivals, make it an ideal destination for those seeking an unforgettable journey.

According to the recently released data by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, over 4.5 crore people visited Prayagraj, 8.5 crore people visited Varanasi (Kashi), and over 1.5 crore people visited the Ayodhya Ram temple since it was consecrated. Varanasi is predicted by several experts to surpass Goa, Agra, and Shimla.

Industry analysts predict that the religious tourism business will bring in Rs 59 billion in income by 2028 and produce 140 million employment, both temporary and permanent, by 2030.

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