Vaishno Devi: A Classic Case of Burgeoning Religious Tourism
Travel has always captivated homo sapiens while religion has had sustained humanity. Nothing gets better than this, when these two combines commercially. So it is not surprising to learn thqt World Tourism Organization (WTO) has as always captivated homo sapiens while religion has had sustained humanity. Nothing gets better than this, when these two combines commercially. So it is not surprising to learn thqt World Tourism Organization (WTO) hasdeclared that faith based travel industry or religion tourism is supposed to be one of the fastest growing travel segments. According to industry pundits religion tourism industry worldwide is valued at something like $ 18 billion dollars.
In India it is a fact that more than 70 % of people, who travel, does so out of devotion towards religion. So no doubt that Vaishno Devi located in the recess of majestic Trikuta hills just 50 kms from Jammu is a real moneyspinner.
If reports are to be believed then the pilgrimage to Vaishno Devi generates an annual income of approximately Rs 475 crore, enough to sustain the local economy. The Yatra provides an opportunity to earn to around 27000 people. Out of this 475 crores, after commercial establishments, hospitality sector and the transport sector acoounts for the majority of this whopping money.
Record Number of Pilgrims
According to reports in the year 2008 within the first six months a record number of 38.75 lakh people had visited the Vaishno Devi shrine. Around 80 lakh people is expected to visit the cave shrine by the year end. This upsurge in pilgrims is a positive sign as it infuses a lot of money to the state coffers.
To stem over the acute crises many acclaimed names in the travel and hospitality sectors are coming slowly with investments at Katra. A 5 star property is already in place. Famous names in the fast food sectors are also not shying way from pilgim centers and opening their outlets there. Devotees are also big consumers. You can see two outlets of Café Coffee Day in Katra. They are strategically located on way to the Bhawan.
Need of the hour is drastic improvement in the infrastructure as well as more of basic facilities to effectively cater to the increasing number of pilgrims.
There also good numbers of budget as well as luxury Hotels in Katra located near the Vaishno Devi Temple provides all the comforts and luxuries at best price tags. The travelers can also avail Katra Tour Packages which include a stay at one of the finest hotels in katra, platter of meals and a cab service to commute with in the precincts of the region.
Updated on September 2008