Bhubaneswar: In order to attract more visitors to Odisha, the state government on Tuesday approved an action plan to develop 30 eco-tourism spots.
The eco-tourism board meeting held under the chairmanship of chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here approved the action plan of Rs 21 crore for 2016-17 for development of these spots.
Padhi asked the Forest and Environment Department to prepare a master plan for the comprehensive development of these spots.
He also advised to create more employment opportunities for local youths through these projects and plan the projects on self-sustaining mode.
It was decided to keep the nature tourism spots open throughout the year.
The chief secretary further advised the department to publicize the spots through tour operators, tour websites, and hoteliers in national and international forums.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sidhant Das said that the booking for nature-tourism spots have been made online through the website www.ecotourodisha.com.
So far around 1200 visitors have booked their visit through this site. This portal has also been integrated with billing and payment gateway along with SMS and e-mail information system.
Around 27 youths have been trained on hospitality and housekeeping in the Institute of Hotel Management & Nutrition for providing services in the ecotourism spots.
The spots included in the action plan includes Mangalajodi and Berhampura under Chilika wildlife ( WL) division, Barakhandia and Dhodrokusum under Hirakud WL division, Kumari and Jamuani under Baripada WL, Deras and Godibari under Chandaka WL, Bichitrapur and Rissia under Balasore WL.
Other projects approved under the plan are Bedmul under Mahanadi WL, Tarava and Chhotkei under Satkosia WL, Daringibadi and Belghar under Baliguda WL, Nuanai under Puri WL, Anjar and Kanjipani under Keonjhar WL, Dangmal under Rajnagar WL, Barbara under Khordha WL, Ansupa under Athgarh WL, Mandasaru under Phulbani WL, Ramatirtha under Similipal WL, Gudugudia under Karanjia WL, Chahala under Similipal WL, Saluapali and Lasing under Ghumsur North WL, Jacum under Kalahandi South WL and Bhimdungri under Bolangir WL division.