The maiden Uttar Pradesh Travel Mart (UPTM) kickstarted in Lucknow in a colourful inaugural ceremony that showcased the myriad cultural diversity of the state. The inaugural ceremony was organised in La Martiniere College grounds, against the backdrop of the iconic school building. Being organised by the UP government in association with FICCI, it is for the very first time that a travel mart has been held by a north Indian state. The focus of the travel mart is to promote The Heritage Arc on the banks of Yamuna, Gomti and Ganga, that is the cities of Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi.
Inaugurating the travel mart, the state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said, “The Heritage Arc was suggested to me by someone from the travel industry and we decided to promote the same. It is the travel trade that understands tourism, so we welcome suggestions from the industry. Tourism is a priority for us.”Among the major new initiatives being taken by the government is the Agra Lucknow Expressway which will be the longest in the country, intra state air connectivity (Lucknow-Agra-Varanasi-Allahabad) which is starting soon, Lion Safari in Etawah, beautification of Gomti river in Lucknow, Lucknow Eye, and many other projects.
UPTM is being attended by 73 international buyers and 23 domestic buyers. There is a focused effort to make them aware of the fact that there is a great tourism potential in the state beyond the Taj Mahal and the Ghats of Varanasi.