Statues are the finest exhibition of architectural prowess since the time known or unknown. These extraordinary works of art ranging from ancient, medieval, or modern times, quite subtly manifest the best of the era. Be it the rock-cut pieces from prehistoric eras or some of the finest yet giant monolithic pieces from the medieval times, these statues around the world have fascinated tourists and archaeologists the most. Moreover, these statues have enjoyed their share of fame over the period.
- The statue of the unity of Sardar Vallabhai Patel is 182 meters tall and was completed in
record time of 33 months and is double the height of Statue of Liberty in New York.
- Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) in its statement informed that a total of 91 lakh tourists have visited Kevadia (the place where the statue is built) from the beginning and total income of INR. 85.57 crore has been generated from it as entrance fees with actuals spent by the Tourist more than INR.2,000 crore.
- Statue of Unity attracts around 8,500 daily visitors on average in the first year and it is expected to reach 30,000 daily visitors by the next five years (if CAGR 28.7%). The expected revenue as the Entrance fee would be 540 crores through tourist visitors. Tourists coming are expected to spend more than INR.10,000 crore in the coming years for this monument.
- This could result in an increase in additional employment to about 2L by 2028. Foreign exchange earnings and proportionate growth in GDP is envisaged.
- There should be supporting tourist infrastructures located in the wasteland or undeveloped area in the influence area of the statue. Ensure these tourist spots need to increase the average length of visitor stay and at the same time, it will not damage any cultural and environmental resources in Kevadia, Gujarat.
- There are major attractions for tourists visiting the Statue of Unity viz., the exhibition hall, museum, Wall of Unity, laser light and sound show, tour of Valley of Flowers, tour of Sardar Sarovar Dam and its dykes, boating, helicopter ride, sight-seeing of historical shoolpaneshwar sanctuary and temple, trekking in Zarvani Eco-Tourism area, bird watching, and shopping.
- Considering that it is a new tourist attraction it could be converted into an internationally acclaimed tourist destination by the use of the principle of secured governance for self-sustained development through value and valuation. This place can easily be converted into a tourism HUB by earmarking a radius of 40KMs around it taking into account the relevant factors such as environmental safety, economic and social factors. Nano and mini hubs catering to the tourist and administration of the statue
- To accommodate this increase in traffic to this destination there will be a proportionate increase in the linked sectors such as travel and tour services like booking and reservation, transportation industry (international and national travel and transportation), accommodation, hospitality industry; food & beverages; tourism products like souvenirs, art, handicraft, etc.
Description of the statue:
The statue of the unity of Sardar Vallabhai Patel is 182 meters tall and 1,700 tonnes of bronze and 1850 of bronze cladding were used to make the statue and had 2 high-speed passenger elevator which accommodated 200 tourists at a time. This statue is situated in the middle of the Narmada River and dam and has Satpura and Vindhyachal hill around it. A 3.5 km long highway is being built for the tourists to come to the place. The interior is filled with concrete cement (180,000 cubic meters), reinforced steel (18,500 tonnes) and structured steel (6,500 tonnes). The construction of the Sardar Patel statue has had its engineering challenges, not just due to its height but also because of its location in the middle of the Narmada River and the walking pose of Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The statue is designed to withstand winds of almost 180km/hour and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale. With a three-star hotel, museum and audiovisual gallery, the government has tried to build an entire ecosystem of tourism infrastructure centered on the statue in the remote, hilly terrain.
Status of the tourism sector in India
Almost 10 million foreign tourists visited India in 2019. It is expected to boost the tourism sector in the country and put India on the world tourism map. It is expected that by 2028 there would be roughly 30.5 million foreign tourists arrive in India. In India Tourism is the largest service industry with a contribution of 6.23% to the country’s GDP and 8.78% of the total employment of the nation. In the year 2019 Foreign Tourist Arrivals were 10 million catering to the employment of 13.9 million. With the projection of 30.5 million tourists in 2028, it is fair to say that this would create additional job opportunities to the tune of 42 million. It is said India is the 3rd favored destination for tourism. The total contribution by the travel and tourism sector to India’s GDP is expected to increase from INR. 15,24,000 crore in 2017 to INR. 32,05,000 crore in 2028. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism increased 4.70% year-on-year to INR.1.97 trillion in 2018 and by 2029 expected to be INR.3.7 trillion. In 2018 INR.3.12 trillion was invested and expected to be INR. 3.42 trillion in 2019 and grow at a rate of 7.4% until 2029. Also, domestic tourism grew from 220 million in 2000 to 1.82 billion in 2018.
The Statue as a tool of Economic growth:
The tourism industry has established itself as one of the world’s major industries, one that offers significant opportunities for employment creation, local and country economic development and integration into the international market.
There is a constant requirement for travelers to visit new places and destinations. Hence a relatively new statue of unity will become a star attraction to people within the country and also globally. This helps in revenue generation not only internally but by foreign exchange. This helps in the employment generation locally and puts purchasing power in the hands of people ensuring increased demand and growth.
Tourism is a global and intensely competitive industry the consumer has to spend a relatively large amount of his/her disposable income to buy the tourism product. This Statue will offer travelers the opportunity to visit a variety of built and natural attractions along a themed route. By moving away from the well-established destination resort model of tourism development that focuses on a specific locality, tourism corridors offer visitors the opportunity to travel through a variety of landscapes and visit a range of iconic and non-iconic yet locally significant attractions.
Tourism is one mechanism for encouraging a move beyond the core, and if properly planned, will stimulate regional economic development by extending the core into the periphery. Tourism implies multi-destination itineraries, which cover a sequence of destinations across one or more territories.
Role of secured governance and economic growth:
The value and Valuations of the Infrastructure projects in and around the statue will accelerate over some time by which not only the cost incurred in the construction be recovered faster but will also be a profitable venture for the private investor. This concept of Secured Governance for the monuments will also show growth other components including hospitality, law & order and transport sectors, etc. This will boost high growth and development rates, considerable volumes of foreign currency inflows, infrastructure development, and introduction of new management and educational experience which actively affect various sectors of the economy. These National monuments sites can help a nation to accumulate a big deal of their social and economic welfare on profits but is also a source of foreign exchange, a way to balance foreign trade, an industry without a chimney”.
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Local communities are benefited through contribution by tourism to the improvement of the social infrastructure like schools, libraries, health care institutions, internet cafes, and so on. Besides, if local culture is the base for attracting tourists to the region, it helps to preserve the local traditions and handicrafts.
Mrs. Jayanthi Sekhar
Director Micro Tech Global Foundation