The Telegraph
Sunday , July 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tents on sands to woo tourists

Bhubaneswar, July 21: The concept of luxury tents is set to woo tourists in Odisha with the state tourism department planning to promote the Chandrabhaga beach along the Puri-Konark Marine Drive.

The stretch of sand between the Kushabhadra river and the Chandrabhaga beach have been chosen as the spot for the temporary luxury tents.

Considering the fact that the Puri and Gopalpur beaches are overcrowded round the year while the Chandrabhaga beach remains unexplored as a tourist destination, the state tourism department has planned to promote the site. As part of the numerous proposed projects along the Marine Drive stretch, the department has chosen certain sites that would be developed into eco-tourism hubs. The most attractive of all would be luxury tents to come up on the sand bar near Ramchandi.

“We are looking forward to attracting tourists to the Chandrabhaga beach that promises amazing sites. Tourist hot spots such as Ramchandi in its vicinity make it a perfect spot for the state tourism department to invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure along the beach,” said secretary of the state tourism department Ashok Tripathy.

Apart from developing wooden cottages and planning a number of camping sites and log cabins around the Marine Drive, the officials have come up with proposals for a temporary set-up of luxury tents on the sand bed near Ramchandi, between the Kushabhadra river and the sea.

“We have recently discussed the possibility of having a stretch of luxury tents on the sand bar near Ramchandi during a meet on the tourism department’s new projects. But, it has to be very carefully planned since the sand bar has shifting sand and is also right in the centre of river and ocean. A temporary structure may get us permission under the Coastal Zone Regulation. But, we are still calculating the possibilities,” said senior divisional manager of the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation Jaya Krishna Das. “If we can make something safe and luxurious as a state-of-the-art tent house, it would definitely be a huge leap for the tourism department,” he said.

The luxury tents would have comfortable beds, furnishings and facilities to enjoy seafood and exotic drinks.

“The project would cater to the high-end tourists. It would help local people get employed in the catering house that would cook for the tent guests while hospitality sector professionals will be hired for taking care of the tents. Apart from generating higher revenue, this facility would help highlight the Odisha tourism,” said Tripathy.

The project was in its initial stage of planning and until a green signal was derived from the coastal zone authorities, the tenders would not be invited keeping in view the tourists’ safety, said a tourism department official.