Panaji: Gujarat tourism officials are cashing on the Statue of Unity to increase tourist footfalls to the state. Officials are on a road-show across India to popularise the statue.
On Wednesday, briefing local media, officials said that, 1.75 lakh tourists visited the state to see the new 182-meter high statue since it opened to public on November 1.
Officials said that they would be meeting up with Goan tour operators to increase visitors to their state. They said that, slew of attractions and facilities have been established near and around the statue of Sardar Patel for sightseeing. The attractions include a viewing gallery located at the chest level of the statue, museum and audio visual gallery depicting the life of Sardar Patel, valley of flowers and the wall of unity.
“To create the wall of unity we asked farmers from different states to send in their used tools and soil” said, Sanjay Joshi, chief manager, statue of unity. He added that, the sightseeing facilities around the statue are set to get better as more phases are pending for completion.
“Phase one of the project is completed and two more are pending,” said Joshi. For the second phase, the Gujarat government has invited all the state governments to build their Bhavan similar to those in embassies to provide lounging facilities for visitors. “Land is already identified for the same” said Joshi.
Others present in the briefing included, Sanatan Pancholi, manager, Gujarat tourism and Youraj Choudhary, senior manager, tent city Narmada, a resort.
According to the tourism department, the statue of unity is the tallest man-made statue in the world. The department has priced the ticket inclusive of the bus ride, entry to the museum and viewing gallery at Rs 380, while the express ticket is priced at Rs 1,000.
“Currently 40 percent of the bookings are available through the online window and around 6,000 visitors can access the viewing gallery located at the chest level of the statue on a daily basis,” added Joshi. [NT]