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Agra readies for tourist surge in extended weekend

Posted on Aug 14 2014 | IANS

Agra, Aug 14 : With an extended weekend beginning Friday, Agra hotels are expecting a major tourist influx. Some hotels have already displayed housefull boards.

"Weather being pleasant, and the Yamuna river flowing full to the brim, the fervour of Independence Day should spill over this weekend to Agra," said Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.

Visitors from Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh and Jaipur are expected to spend two days in Agra and then move over to Mathura and Vrindavan for the Janamashtmi celebrations, hotelier Surendra Sharma said.

The ASI and the district administration have geared up to meet the expected rush. Anticipating additional pressure of tourists at the Taj Mahal, the ASI has deployed more personnel at the entrance gates. Since the Taj Mahal is closed on Friday, the real pressure would be from Saturday morning onwards.

Hoteliers said rooms were booked 15 days ago but queries were still pouring in. "This is some good news for the hotel industry which due to intense heat had been without business for the past few months," said Sandeep who owns a hotel in Taj Ganj.

Agra has emerged as a favourite getaway for office-goers in Delhi, say hoteliers. "After the opening of the Yamuna Expressway, the physical and mental distance between Agra and Delhi has reduced," travel agent Amit Sisodia said.

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