The world’s largest statue ‘Statue of Unity’ has been built not only as a tribute to the ‘Iron man of India’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel but the government plans to develop it as an important tourism destination as well.
Gujarat Tourism officials held a meeting with the National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) and other stakeholders at Kevadia to chalk out a strategy to maximise tourist traffic at the statue. The council projects that three million tourists would be visiting the statue in 2019.
Gujarat tourism aims to have five million tourists visiting the statue every year for this to materialise the council has made a few suggestions that would add value to the destination as a tourist destination.
Some of the suggestions include
1) A check dam to be constructed about 10 kms downstream of the Dam so that boating and water sports would be possible for a length of over 10 kms from the check dam to the Statue.
2) Amusement park of global standards
3) Night Safari
4) Ropeway between the Dam and Safari
5) Tribal Museum
6) State Bhawans to be built at the site
7) Restaurant complex to be expanded with cuisines from all States
8) A sizable number of mid-segment hotels to be set up on land to be leased out by Narmada Valley Development Authority on long term lease.
9) Adventure Tourism
10) Boat riding in the Dam
11) Regular helicopter service to be started from the Statue to various towns in Gujarat
12) Seaplanes to be operational from the Dam to various destinations.
Visitor traffic at the Statue has seen a constant rise, on an average 10,000 tourists visit daily and this number rises to 15,000 on weekends and holidays. This is the reason why Gujarat tourism increased the visiy\ting hours by two hours recently. As of now one can visit between 8am and 6 pm, compared to 9am and 5 pm timings before. Even the Indian Railways has announced its plans to increase train services to the Narmada district of Gujarat in order to meet the increased tourist traffic to the area because of the statue.