Odisha tourism development: 1000 acres land bank, road shows, e-visa facility


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday said it will soon create a land bank of 1,000 acres for development of tourism sector along with several new hotel chains in the state.

“We have 1000 acres of land but we will be doing a field visit because suitable patches are important to establish new hotels,” said Tourism secretary Mona Sharma.

A meeting was held under the chairmanship of chief secretary AP Padhi here on Thursday for Odisha tourism development.

In the view of international flight operations and increase in tourist flow to the state, the meeting deliberated on attracting more investments in the hotel industry. The strategy for attracting the international chain hotels was discussed and decided in the meeting.

The chief secretary directed to identify sites in Bhubaneswar, Puri, Daringibadi, Koraput, Rayagada and other tourist destinations of the state for allotment to the hoteliers.

The government has also decided to organise road shows showcasing the tourism potentials of the state in foreign countries to attract tourists to Odisha.

It was decided to organize road shows in top 10 countries from where more number of tourists come to Odisha.

The meeting further decided for starting e-visa facility at Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar.

Notably, tourist arrival in Odisha has reached an all-time high during 2017 with an inflow of around 141.11 lakh tourists.

The Tourism secretary appraised that because of tourism promotion initiatives, the total tourist arrival in the state during 2017 has reached an all-time high of 141.11 lakh marking a growth of around 9.23% over the last year.

The arrival of foreign tourist has gone up to 1 lakh recording a growth of around 31% over last year. Similarly, the arrival of domestic tourist has also increased around 9% with 140.11 lakh tourist arrival.

USA, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, China, Netherland, Australia and CIS are the top 10 foreign countries from where more number of tourists have come to Odisha during 2017.

Most domestic tourists have come from the states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, MP, AP, Chhatisragh, UP, Jharkhand, Tamilnadu, Bihar and Uttarakhand.

In the meanwhile, around 30 ecotourism spots have been developed which has started attracting the tourists. Photography in the tribal museum has also been allowed.

OTDC has developed seven numbers of promotional films about Odisha tourism that are being widely displayed and appreciated both inland and abroad. Around 37 tourism projects involving private sector investment has been approved through single window mechanism during last years.

Out of this 12 projects with investment proposal of around Rs. 585 crores have been cleared during 2017. The infrastructure in Shamuka project has been laid and the project is now ready for allocation to private players.

The issues relating to introducing common ticket system for tourist spots, rescheduling of the opening hours of State museum, hoisting of the new website of OTDC etc were discussed and decided in the meeting.