Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department has decided to celebrate its own “State Tourism Day” annually on February 14 — the Valentine’s Day. The first tourism day will be celebrated in presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow.
Last year, Akhilesh was in Agra on Valentine’s Day along with his wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav and son Arjun and had also posted a family picture which was clicked on Lovers’ Seat with Taj Mahal in the backdrop. Then Akhilesh had urged youths to celebrate Valentine’s Day as Taj Day.
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“We are having our own ‘Tourism Day’ on February 14. We have dedicated one day for tourism to project UP and highlight its tourism potential. There is no such issue that a state cannot celebrate its own tourism day besides World Tourism Day (September 27),” Navneet Sehgal, Principal Secretary Tourism, told The Sunday Express.
The first “State Tourism Day” will be celebrated in Lucknow but the venue will change to other cities in coming years, he added.
State government has planned a series of activities for celebrating the day. A mega hot air balloon show will be organised at Janeshwar Mishra Park, which will be attended by Akhilesh. A cultural evening too has been planned at historical ‘Chhatar Manzil’ premises, which will be directed by producer, director Muzaffar Ali.
On lines of heritage arc? Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi – for tourism activities, UP will launch a Nature Arc for promoting eco-tourism activities. The Nature arc will include Chambal, Etawah Lion Safari, Pilibhit and Kartania Ghat among others.
“We will soon release the destinations in Nature Arc and facilitate tourist travel. Tourists mostly go to Agra but we are making efforts to invite them for exploring other places in the state,” Sehgal said.
The government has also planned to felicitate various hotel owners, travel agents and others who have done impressive work in promoting tourism. The awards will also be handed over to them by Akhilesh.
UP ranks second in terms of visit of domestic tourists with 29.09 lakh foreign tourists visiting the state in 2014.