Many replies to my question regarding economic viability are based only on the ticket price. This is an incorrect way to calculate returns. Tourists don’t just spend 350 rupees to get tickets to the Statue of Unity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel . We must also consider earning from other attractions around the statue when calculating returns.
This includes restaurants, hotels and shopping malls, as well as other tourist attractions such as Valley of Flowers, Sardar Serova Dam, Lake, and so forth.
Tourists don’t just spend 350 rupees to get tickets to the statue of unity. To visit the site, he spends at least 20000 rupees per person. This does not include any transportation or flight costs.
The economy or revenue generated by the government (govt also receives GST from other services such as hotels etc.) is much greater than the 350 rupee ticket price
Anyone claiming that the cost of the ticket will be recouped in 100 years is wrong, based on a 350 rupee ticket price, is completely incorrect. It would have been a mere 10 months since the opening of the facility.
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It is not economically feasible.
Here are some reasons.
You can see the reasons why it isn’t financially, culturally, Socially and politically viable.
As you asked for economic viability, I won’t touch on the other aspects.
The total project cost was approximately 3000 crores (410 millions dollars). The statue cost was 1350 crores (170 million dollars).
Before the sardar Valla Bhai Patel statue, the world’s tallest standing statue was the spring temple Buddha statue in China. It is currently the second-tallest statue. The total project cost was 400 crores (55million dollars) and the statue cost 135 crores (18million dollars).
If you compare here,
The world’s second-tallest statue was built for 18 million. 180 million is the highest, which is 10x more expensive than the other.
This is important to remember when comparing the heights of statues.
The statue of unity’s height is 182 mtr. Spring temple Buddha statue is 128mtr.
The 10 times difference in height between them is not apparent.
It raises the question of what makes this statue so special that it was 10x more expensive than others. The average inflation since 2008 has been 6.90%, even if inflation is taken into account. It would be approximately 34 million if we calculated today’s 18 million dollars spent in 2008.
If you view statues from the outside, there is no significant difference. Neither is the statue of unity made of gold.
Many may also believe that the expense of making the tallest statue can be recouped in a few years by the tourist flow.
Let’s look at the ROI with an example.
The most visited tourist attraction in India is Taj Mahal. It attracts approximately 8 million tourists annually, but it generates 25 crores of annual revenue.
Even if Taj mahal’s statue of unity becomes as popular, it will only generate 25 crore. It would take 120 years for break-even.
Let’s get into the details.
Personally, I don’t think the statue will be as popular than Taj mahal. I will tell you why later in this post.
This is even assuming that even 10% of Taj mahal’s visitors visit Taj mahal to see the statue. Even if they buy the most expensive ticket at Rs 350 to go to the observation deck, it still makes Taj mahal 1 million visitors.
350*1,000,000 = 350 million (35 million) annual revenue. It would still take 85 year to break even and recover the cost. It is also unrealistic to assume that everyone will visit the observation deck.
People will also ask, “Why are you only considering the price of the tickets?”. But, they will also point out that you should consider the number and quality of local businesses that will open there and the number of people who will be employed. This would increase the local economy’s income.
The reality is that if we truly wanted to create jobs and local businesses, then we could have taken additional steps, such as setting up skill-development centers. We didn’t need the statue to do that. That is why I only consider the ticket price. Because the government has spent taxpayers money on building the same all should return to the exchequer. Only then can we calculate the return of investment.
It can be concluded that our govt. It hasn’t paid much attention to the profitability of the statue, which suggests that our tax was a waste.
Let’s discuss the potential for tourism. I promised I would explain it later.
It would attract the same amount of tourists as Taj mahal, which is why I personally don’t feel it would.
Its location is the first reason.
It is easy to see that most of the world’s top attractions are located near major cities.
New York City (Statue of liberty Brooklyn Bridge), San Francisco( Golden Gate bridge), Paris( Eiffel Tower), etc.
The statue of unity can be reached from Ahmedabad in 4 hours and Mumbai in 8 hours. This is why not many people make it a point to go see the statue.
The second reason is uniqueness. Every tourist attraction is unique and attracts people. Spring temple Buddha, which was once the tallest standing statue in the entire world, is no longer the most popular. It isn’t even on the top 10 attractions in China. People prefer to visit Great Wall of China, Terracotta army, and Forbidden City when they travel to China. It is up to you to decide if it was a good idea to build the same.