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Push for tourism sector

Delegates at the inauguration of Odisha Travel Bazaar in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), in association with the state government, is organising the first edition of Odisha Travel Bazaar here to showcase the potential of tourist destinations in the state.

Inaugurating the event, tourism minister Ashok Panda said: "Odisha is becoming a preferred tourist destination in India with its tourist attractions ranging from national parks, beaches, heritage monuments to tribal culture. Odisha has huge untapped tourism potential for tourists and investors alike."

"Our aim is to create adequate infrastructure within the state, draw more tourists, extend their stay here and promote as well as market its products as a preferred destinations," he said.

The event, to be hosted on the lines of the Great Indian Travel Bazaar, Jaipur, will bring together tour operators from across the globe, along with their local counterparts, stakeholders and policy-makers under one roof.

Domestic tourism in state is flourishing with significant growth in footfall of tourists from 92.91 lakh in 2012-13 to 131.12 lakh in 2016-17.

"Bengal was the major market for Odisha representing 14 per cent of the total domestic tourists followed by Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. From the domestic market's perspective, Puri is one of the most sacred pilgrimage spots and visited place of worship in India," he said.

Foreign tour operators from Australia, Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA and Vietnam and 55 tour operators and hoteliers from Odisha are taking part in the event.

"We are trying to build a travel trail in various destinations, so that tourists have a lot of things to look forward to," said tourism director Nitin Jawale.

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