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The city’s small vendors and traders have particularly benefited from the large-scale renovation of Varanasi over the past few years. Vendors are expanding their businesses, diversifying their products, and the hospitality industry is booming historically. Ever since the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor was opened in December 2021 after renovation, the arrival of tourists has been continuous. Dibyojyoti Base, who has been living in Kashi for six decades, said that Varanasi is now a favorite destination for tourists and pilgrims. Apart from the temple, other facilities have been added and it has almost become a new city. The locals are excited. Be it boatmen, hoteliers or saree sellers – they know that if they invest in growing their business, the profits will be better than expected.
Dibyojyoti says that cycle rickshaw pullers are now driving e-rickshaws. Even the smallest eatery is making its premises attractive. The sailors are especially thrilled with the rejuvenation of Kashi. Sailor Parveen Nishad said that our business has grown manifold in the last one year. There has been an increase in the number of tourists – especially foreign visitors. We earn more because of more rides. People prefer to take boat to reach Vishwanath Dham instead of road route. The hotel business is also witnessing a boom.
Rajesh Mehrotra, manager of a resort, said that before the renovation of the temple, the guests were mainly pilgrims. Most of them preferred to stay in dharamshalas and low cost hotels and lodges. Now we have all kinds of guests. There are days when even luxury hotels get full occupancy. People are now actually coming to Varanasi for holidays. This in itself tells a lot about the changing situation.
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