Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government has planned to set up a development board to promote spiritual tourism in Uttar Pradesh.
The state government has already been pushing religious tourism with Deepotsav in Ayodhya, Holi in Barsana and now Janamashtami in Mathura.
"Uttar Pradesh is a major centre of spiritual tourism, and tourists and pilgrims visit the state in lakhs. The government is going to set up a development board to further improve spiritual tourism in the state," the chief minister said at the ongoing Travel Mart here.
He also asked travel operators to train local youths to become good guides and service providers in this sector and boost the prospects of tourism development. This would also generate employment.
The state has already developed a 'Buddhist Circuit' under which work has been done in Sarnath, Kushinagar, Kapilvastu, and Shravasti.
Places related to Jainism have also been developed, along with the 'Ramayana Circuit.'
"Lord Ram spent most of his exile years in Chitrakoot, and government has worked on developing tourism there. Work is also in progress on linking Uttar Pradesh to Janakpur in Nepal, the birth place of Sita," Adityanath said.
He added that the Kumbh could be hosted successfully because the government had formed Prayagraj Mela Pradhikaran to oversee and coordinate the event.
Seven pilgrimage spots, including Mathura, Vrindavan, Barsana, Gokul and Nandgaon, have been linked to the Braj Teerth Vikas Parishad.
Plans were afoot to set up development boards in Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Naimisharanya, Vindhyawasini Dham and Devipatan.
Adityanath, while referring to Dudhwa National Park, said many centres in the state were famous for wildlife and urged tour operators to play a vital role in connecting tourists with wildlife activities.
Wildlife tourism can be developed in Sonbhadra, Bundelkhand and Terai, he added.
A number of hotels and restaurant chains will come up in the state under the new tourism development policy.
Officials said that 49 tour operators from 19 countries, including 21 from India, participated in the UP Travel Mart.