Odisha Banking On Tourism Sector To Spearhead Economic Revival

The Odisha government is looking at ways to revamp the tourism sector in rural and urban areas in a bid to revive the economy after the lockdown phase. At a high-level meeting, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy asked the tourism department to make an operational plan to boost the domestic tourism sector. As a whole, the tourism industry has incurred huge losses but domestic tourism can offer a ray of hope.

The department was asked to focus on attracting tourism within the state and to make way for private investments in the hospitality and tourism sectors at key locations. The meeting also led to the prioritization of the destination development projects at Rambha and Satpada clusters of Chilika, Bhitarkanika National Park, Chandrabhaga, and Talsari beachfront development.

The development of eco-retreat hubs at Daringbadi, Debrigarh, Satkosia, Konark, and the Mahanadi riverbed between Naraj and Dhabaleswar was also discussed. Holistic development of the Buddhist circuit, Shamuka project are on the to-do list as well. Discussions also took place on the feasibility of rolling out schemes for home-stays, heritage hospitality, houseboats, and beach shacks.

“The department has made a holistic assessment of Covid-19 impact on Odisha tourism involving key stakeholders from hotels, restaurants, resorts, tour operators, adventure sports, home-stays and boat operators”, said Tourism Secretary Vishal Dev.

Dev also mentioned that roadshows will soon be held in major cities of neighbouring states and tier-II cities across the country to attract domestic tourists. Plans for road-trips from destinations like Kolkata, Ranchi, Vizag, Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg-Bhilai, Jamshedpur, and Bokaro are being developed. These roadshows will aim to promote Odisha as an affordable, unique, and safe destination for tourists.

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