Holy Cities Like Ayodhya, Varanasi Attracting Big Retail Brands: Report

Holy Cities Like Ayodhya, Varanasi Attracting Big Retail Brands: Report

The report identifies Amritsar, Ajmer, Varanasi, Katra, Somnath, Shirdi, Ayodhya, Puri, Tirupati, Mathura, Dwarka, Bodh Gaya, Guruvayur, and Madurai as key cities witnessing this retail boom.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 04:48 PM IST
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AFP PHOTO / Ludovic MARIN

With rising spiritual tourism, retail brands are expanding their presence in cities like Ayodhya, Varanasi, Amritsar, Puri, Tirupati, and Ajmer, and also offering products to cater to the needs of pilgrims, according to CBRE. Real estate consultant CBRE on Thursday released a report 'Decoding Real Estate through the Spiritual Tourism Lens', highlighting that retail chains are capitalising on the surge in spiritual tourism across 14 key cities in India.

The report identifies Amritsar, Ajmer, Varanasi, Katra, Somnath, Shirdi, Ayodhya, Puri, Tirupati, Mathura, Dwarka, Bodh Gaya, Guruvayur, and Madurai as key cities witnessing this retail boom.

The consultant noted that retail brands are strategically adapting their offerings in both established mall clusters and high-street locations to cater to the growing tourist population.

From Reliance to Pantaloons

In Ayodhya, Manyavar, Reliance Trends, Raymonds, Market99, Pantaloons, Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Reliance Smart have opened their retail stores, the report said.

Manyavar, Reliance Trends, Zudio, Pantaloons, Shoppers Stop, Burger King, Domino's, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Spencer's, Reliance smart, Croma and Reliance Digital are present in Varanasi.

Anshuman Magazine Chairman & CEO, India, South-East Asia, Middle East & Africa, CBRE, said, "The rapid expansion of spiritual tourism in India is driving the growth of the country's faith-based tourism market." The government initiatives to promote tourism and improve connectivity between pilgrimage sites are further boosting this growth, he added.

"The rise of online retail platforms offering easy access to faith-based products and services is also a key factor," Magazine said.

The All-In-One Experience

Retail brands across segments, including fashion & apparel, food & beverage, hypermarkets, homeware & department stores, and consumer electronics brands, are expanding by tailoring the offerings to the pilgrim's needs.

Ram Chandnani, Managing Director, Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE India, said, "Driven by the growing popularity of spiritual tourism, investors are flocking to capitalise on the market's potential. Guided by a commitment to cater to the unique needs of spiritual travellers, these investments aim to deliver high-quality accommodations, bolster infrastructure, safeguard heritage sites, and ultimately drive regional economic growth." This trend has created opportunities for the hospitality and retail sectors to thrive in these destinations, he added.

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