Bhubaneswar, June 24: When the entire world is soaked in the religious frenzy during the rath yatra of the Trinity and people have become Puri-bound for a glimpse of the gods, Odisha tourism has come with an innovative conference tour package eying the travellers who, apart from enjoying the monsoons, can go for the usual official work and attend various conferences and special meets.
The conference tour package is available at the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) establishments in Bhubaneswar, Konark, Barkul, Cuttack, Rourkela and Sambalpur. According to availability, groups of 30 to 50 persons can be accommodated at the different tourism sites.
“The package, which is valid till September 30, will have different moods as the rath yatra comes first in the monsoon as a major attraction followed by the monsoon season which is also being marketed as a crowd puller. States such as Goa and Kerala have already successfully marketed the monsoon tourism package,” said Alok Mishra, marketing manager of the OTDC.
The package is designed to attract both regular travellers and tourists. This helps provide them with the comfort to attend their official work while also making scope for them to spend time with their loved ones. The package includes rates both for double and single occupancy. While the rate varies between Rs 997 and 2,107 for single occupancy depending on location, for double occupancy it is between Rs 812 and Rs 1,379. While the rate is the highest at Barkul Panthanivas, the rate is the lowest at Rourkela.
“Conference tourism is the new concept in Odisha and we are gaining the confidence of the people, mainly the professionals working with various government offices and corporate houses. As the visitors have the option to take the help of our other services such as tour guides and vehicles, it can be provided according to personal needs at an extra cost,’’ Mishra added.
Not only the tourism department, but the environment and forests department is also trying to take the advantage of the conference tourism concept and add places such as Satkosia, where the tourists in troupes can not only have their trips to the nature but have time to do some office work in the form of meetings and conferences, to the map of conference tourism. The department has already started planning for this. Nearby areas such as Athmallik is also on the radar for development so that the site can be ready as a spot for conference tourism in future.
Tour operator Debasish Mohapatra says the state tourism department is using various concepts to attract tourists to various destinations and this can generate more revenue when the tourist flow is less during the monsoon. However, there could be additional transportation facilities from the nearest rail station to encourage the troupes to come to Odisha on such tours.
At present, the OTDC is providing many innovative packages to the Buddhist sites, eco-tourism hot spots and religious places on daily and weekend basis. But the opportunity of exploring the monsoon season in wildlife habitats and waterfalls can attract more travellers who need an adequate exposure to the tourism treasure of the state.