Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday inaugurated the third edition of Odisha Travel Bazaar 2019 organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Odisha Tourism here.
“Endowed with some of India’s finest eco-tourism hotspots such as Chilika lagoon, Similipal, Bhitarkanika, Satksoia and Debrigarh, the state has witnessed a 9 per cent growth in tourist arrival which is more than the global tourist growth of 4 per cent. This trend is a positive sign for the state,” said the Chief Minister.
He said Odisha Tourism has made convergence with Forest Department to promote eco-tourism as 37 per cent of state’s total geographical territory is forested.
“To position Odisha Tourism in the global arena, the Department is going to organise a month-long mega event titled ‘The Konark Sun City Festival’ similar to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The objective is to convert Konark from a day hopping destination to a destination for 2 to 3 days,” he added.
Similarly, the Shamuka Special Tourism project, a flagship tourism project of Odisha Tourism, is expected to see development shortly, informed Patnaik.
Considering the state’s rich Buddhist heritage, efforts are being taken to position Odisha among international Buddhist destinations. he added.
Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi said, “We are trying hard to position Odisha as the preferred tourist destination of the country. To increase the visibility of tourism potential of the state, we participated in so many national, international events and roadshows.”
Tourism secretary Vishal Kumar Dev said, “Odisha has one of the finest tourism policy of the country. We are receiving good responses from tour operators for our tourism products. We are reaching out and giving training to drivers and travel agencies on etiquettes and tourist sites.”
Odisha Travel Bazaar 2019, a three days mega event, will witness the participation of 26 leading foreign tour operators from across 16 countries, 60 leading domestic tour operators from across 19 cities in India, as well as international airline and travel writer.
They will engage in B2B meetings with about 50 tour operators and hoteliers from Odisha.