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  • On World Tourism Day, 30,000 tourists to see Taj for free

    Post Date:- 10.01.15

    AGRA: The Agra administration is going all out to woo tourists on World Tourism Day (September 27), and how. Tourists visiting the Taj on Sunday, estimated to number upwards of 30,000, will not only get free entry, the facility will be extended to them at other monuments here as well. Moreover, to mark this year's theme of 'One billion tourists, one billion opportunities', Agra hotels, restaurants and emporiums will all give at least 25% discount to visitors.

    An order regarding free entry has been issued by the Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) headquarters. ASI superintending archaeologist Bhuvan Vikrama said, "It is for the first time this initiative of free entry has been taken. We have made proper arrangements to welcome tourists at Taj and other monuments in Agra." Of the expected visitors, foreign tourists, who pay Rs 750 per head, are likely to number 4,000. Indian tourists, who pay Rs 20 per head, are likely to number 26,000. In total, while the free entry means the authorities will be foregoing Rs 30 lakh in fees from foreign tourists, they will also be foregoing Rs 5.2 lakh from Indian visitors.

    Anticipating a heavy rush at the Taj, CISF, which manages security at the monument, said adequate deployment of personnel will be done to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

    Not stopping at that, members of tourism bodies will be present at the Agra Cantt railway stations with sweets and garlands to welcome tourists arriving on Taj Express and Shatabdi in the morning, said officials.

    Agra tourism bodies will also ensure that the tourists' visit is a memorable one on World Tourism Day. Prahalad Agarwal, president, Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber, said, "To mark the occasion, emporiums associated with our association will offer discount of up to 20%. It is our way of showing gratitude to visitors who play an important role in generating employment as well as promoting tourism."

    Likewise, hotels and restaurants have also decided to give discounts. Avanish Shiromani, general secretary of Hotels and Restaurants Owners Association, said, "On Sunday, all the 170 hotels and restaurants affiliated to the organization will offer 25% discount on rooms and 10% on food."

    A UP tourism official said, "Our staff along with members of tourism associations will be present at Agra Cantt railway station and greet tourists with garlands and sweets."


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