Amritsar, September 27
Past two years of the Covid pandemic had crippled the tourism industry globally, which is gradually but hopefully recuperating from the lull. Keeping in mind the impact of the pandemic on tourism sector, this year’s theme for World Tourism Day is “Rethinking Tourism”, which involves improving the tourists’ experience, better managing the impact of tourism and encouraging positive spillover effects on the wider economy.
While the holy city, Amritsar, has always been one of the top tourism destinations in not just Punjab but on a national scale, the city despite its many attractions, has several missed opportunities in terms of potential tourism hotspots.
Spirituality, heritage quotient and food have always worked in its favour, with the recent records showing that the number of tourists coming here daily has crossed 70,000 to 80,000 mark. At weekends, the number touches one lakh. The biggest unique selling proposition of the city is its connection with the past and the heritage that tourists experience. While tourists visit only the high profile or publicised sites, there are few that remain hidden or lost in plain sight.
One of the most popular initiatives, the Heritage Walk, was started in 2011-12, with around 14 sites of heritage inside the walled city in the periphery of the Golden Temple, earmarked on the route. The initiative enjoyed quite a popularity among the tourists, especially the diaspora, who were offered two heritage walk tours, designed initially by the Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board, including a heritage route inside the walled city that comprised visits to the colonial era town hall, Saragarhi Gurdwara, Akhara Sangalwala Darshani Deodhi, Chaurasti Attari, Radha Krishan Mandir and old food establishments along the route. The other walk, designed specifically for religious tourism was
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