Odisha govt to spend Rs 100cr for development of eco-tourism spots

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to boost eco-tourism sector in Odisha, the state government on Wednesday decided to put in place a centralised online system for advance booking of accommodations at eco-tourist spots.

The government has set a target to spend Rs 100 crore for the development of eco-tourism spots in the state.

This has been decided in a high-level meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

It has been decided that a centralised online system for booking of accommodation at eco-tourist places will be developed and implemented within two months.

Reviewing the progress made in this sector, the Chief Secretary directed the Forest and Environment Department to develop suitable facilities in the existing eco-tourism spots before taking up new spots for development.Odisha govt to spend Rs 100cr for development of eco-tourism spots

Padhi focused on the development of basic amenities and apposite waste disposal system at the spots.

Chief Secretary also directed to ensure active involvement of local committees in the preservation and promotional activities so that people get alternative means of livelihood from the tourism activities.

It has been decided to develop these identified tourist spots with state government funding.

Forest and Environment Secretary Suresh Mohapatra said that as of now 20 eco-tourism sites have been taken up, and 40 new destinations have been identified for development.

Target has been set to develop all these spots within a period of 5 years with an investment of around Rs.100 Cr. from state government funding. The accommodation facilities for 15 to 20 families will be developed in each major spot, he added.

Available data shows, there has been a constant increase in tourist footfall in eco-tourist spots over last three years.

In the year 2012-13, the total footfall in eco-tourism spots was 2,76,206 which increased to 3,12,980 in the year 2013-14 and further to 3,47,965 in the year 2014-15. This year there is an increasing trend in the rate of footfall and is expected to cross the last year.