New Delhi, January 21: The grand opening of Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22 is a big religious event. It also comes with a large economic impact as India gets a new tourist spot which could attract 50 million plus tourists a year, foreign brokerage firm Jefferies said in a report.

A $10 billion makeover (new airport, revamped railway station, township, improved road connectivity etc.) will likely drive a multiplier effect with new hotels and other economic activities. It can also set a template for infra driven growth for tourism. Ayodhya is a template for India's tourism boost, the report said $10 billion makeover is now set to transform the ancient city from a sleepy town to a global religious and spiritual tourist hotspot. The new Ram temple comes up at the cost of $225 million. Unique Feature of Ram Mandir Structure: Cement, Iron and Steel Not Used; Ram Temple Structure Designed To Withstand Tremors up to Magnitude 8, Says Jitendra Singh.

Tourism is projected to surge and increased economic and religious migration to Ayodhya, multiple sectors stand to benefit including hotels, airlines, hospitality, FMCG, travel ancillaries, cement, etc. Significant infra upgrade to facilitate Ayodhya tourism with Phase 1 of a new airport at Ayodhya has become operational at the cost of$175 million and can handle 1 million passengers.

Additional domestic capacity and an international terminal is expected by 2025 with a capacity to handle 6 million passengers. Railway station has been upgraded to double the capacity to 60,000 passengers/day. A 1,200 acre greenfield township is being planned and road connectivity being beefed up as well. Ram Temple Satellites Image: ISRO Releases Satellite Images of Newly Built Ram Mandir in Ayodhya (See Pics).

Tourism has big potential in India, the report said. Tourism contributed $194 billion to FY19 (pre-COVID) GDP and is expected to grow at an 8 per cent CAGR to $443 billion by FY33. Tourism to GDP ratio in India at 6.8 per cent of GDP. Religious tourism is big in India. Religious tourism is still the biggest segment of tourism in India.

Several popular religious centres attract annual tourist traffic of 10-30 million despite the existing infrastructural bottlenecks. And hence, the creation of a new religious tourist centre (Ayodhya) with improved connectivity and infrastructure can create a meaningfully large economic impact, the report said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 21, 2024 10:29 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website