Agra, Feb 18 (IANS) The 10-day long annual Taj Mahotsav that will kick off here from Tuesday later, is likely to face a series of challenges, tourism industry leaders here have said.
The theme this year is “Sanskriti ke rang, Taj ke sang.” It will be inaugurated by state Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari.
The cultural extravaganza started in 1992, for tourists visiting Taj city, has not been much of a success as it has been reduced to a local fair, they said.
Senior hotelier Surendra Sharma, founder president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association, said the original purpose of the Mahotsav has not been achieved.
“They invite a couple of Bollywood celebrities and a handful of handicrafts dealers to put up stalls at the Shilpgram complex near the Taj Mahal. The foreign tourists find nothing attractive. Online shopping these days has made it possible for everyone to buy anything from anywhere.”
Two problems, the fair will face this year are the Corona virus scare that will keep the tourists away from crowded places and the visit of the US President Donald Trump to Agra on February 24.
Security concerns will also make it difficult for the crowd to visit the fair and move freely in this sensitive area, say hotel owners of the area.
Entry for foreign tourists will be free, but the locals will have to shell out Rs 50 per person.
Tourism Department officials said the Shilpgram complex was being decked up. More than a hundred stalls will showcase a variety to handicraft products from different parts of India.
The department has also asked all hotels here to inform tourists about the fair and guide them to the venue.
The fair ends February 27 with a Bollywood night.