Ayodhya Ram Mandir to attract 50 mn tourists a year: Jefferies report


The new Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to have a big economic impact in the region as tourism is projected to surge to 50 million visitors every year to the holy town, according to global brokerage firm Jefferies. “The grand opening of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya by Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.

“A $10 billion makeover (around ₹82,500 crore) which includes a 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,” the Jefferies report states.

Amid increased economic and religious migration to Ayodhya, “multiple sectors stand to benefit including hotels, airlines, hospitality, FMCG, travel ancillaries, cement etc”, the report added.

The Ram temple at Ayodhya can “create a meaningfully large economic impact”, said Jefferies. The main pilgrimage site, spread over 70 acres, will be equipped to host about a million devotees together, and the number of pilgrims is expected to jump to 150,000 a day, the report stated.

“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,” it said.

“The makeover is now set to transform the ancient city from a sleepy town to a global religious and spiritual tourist hotspot. 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,” the Jefferies report added.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, tourism contributed $194 billion to India’s GDP. This is now expected to grow at 8 per cent annually to $443 billion by 2033.

Currently, the tourism-to-GDP ratio in India, at 6.8 per cent of the GDP, puts the country below most of the large emerging and developed economies, which are higher by 3-5 percentage points.

“Among the travel service providers, Indigo announced Ayodhya as its 86th domestic destination with direct flights from Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Air India announced direct flights from Bengaluru, Kolkata & Delhi. SpiceJet and Akasa Air also announced flights connecting Ayodhya with multiple cities. IRCTC announced tour packages to Ayodhya,” added the report.

Jefferies has picked Indian Hotel Company and EIH as the potential beneficiaries from hotel space, while it sees ITC, Jubilant Foodworks, Britannia Industries, Godrej Consumer, Westlife Foodworld, Hindustan Unilever, Devyani International and Sapphire Foods from the FMCG and QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) space.

InterGlobe Aviation (Indigo), SpiceJet, IRCTC and Ease My Trip shall benefit from the travel sector.

Ayodhya has witnessed a surge in hotel construction and development. Currently, the city has 17 star hotels with around 590 rooms. To meet the anticipated increase in tourist arrivals, 73 new hotels are in the pipeline, with 40 of them already under construction, as per the report.

Several renowned hotel chains and hospitality companies, including IHCL (Indian Hotels Company Limited), Marriott International, Wyndham, and OYO Rooms, are planning on creating more hotels in Ayodhya. The hospitality projects are expected to add significant room capacity to accommodate the growing number of tourists and pilgrims visiting Ayodhya.