Ayodhya, 8th January 2023: As the much-anticipated inauguration of the Ram temple approaches on January 22, Ayodhya has witnessed an unprecedented influx of tourists, causing a dramatic surge in travel expenses. Airfares to this sacred city have soared to levels surpassing international flight costs, drawing attention to the immense interest in this spiritual event.
The Maharishi Valmiki International Airport in Ayodhya has become a focal point for travelers, with a one-way direct ticket from Mumbai on January 19 now priced at Rs. 20,700—a staggering increase compared to international flight rates on the same day. For instance, a direct Air India flight from Mumbai to Singapore stands at Rs. 10,987, while a Mumbai-Bangkok flight costs Rs. 13,800.
Simultaneously, the limited availability of accommodations, with fewer than 1,500 hotel rooms in Ayodhya, has led to a four to fivefold surge in room prices. Premium hotels in the city are fully booked, exacerbating the challenge for visitors seeking lodging.
Thomas Cook (India) officials have noted a remarkable upsurge in spiritual tourism, attributing this trend to Indians seeking to commence the New Year on an auspicious note. Demand in this segment has skyrocketed by over 120% compared to pre-pandemic levels, indicating a burgeoning interest in spiritual journeys.
Data compiled by Thomas Cook further corroborates this surge, revealing a staggering 300% increase in searches for Ayodhya in December compared to October, signaling the growing anticipation surrounding the Ram temple’s inauguration. Interestingly, this surge in interest transcends demographics, encompassing diverse groups such as young individuals, couples, families, and business travelers.