Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Tourism push for Odisha

Bhubaneswar hosts a three-day travel bazaar to promote Odisha globally as a great tourist destination

By Anwesha Ambaly in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 6.10.18, 2:25 PM
  • Updated 6.10.18, 2:25 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates the three-day travel bazaar in Bhubaneswar on Friday Picture by Ashwinee Pati

A three-day travel bazaar began here on Friday to promote Odisha globally as a great tourist destination.

Odisha Travel Bazaar will play an eye-opener for tour operators like Karagkounis Eva.

Eva, who hails from Hungary, said she had only heard about Bhubaneswar until now. “I had heard about Bhubaneswar, but did not know anything else about Odisha. After coming here, I feel this place has a lot of potential. Not for religious tourism, but people will definitely come here to experience nature,” she said.

Edwin, a tour operator from Thailand, said: “The number of people coming to our country from Odisha is more than people coming here. There is a need to promote the state in a planned manner so that more tourists from Thailand come here. There are huge prospects for Buddhist tourism.”

Like their global brethren, domestic tour operators feel there was need to develop infrastructure to attract tourists. “The basic objective of Odisha Tourism is to create adequate infrastructure within the state, attract more tourists and lengthen their stay in Odisha. It also seeks to promote and market the state as a preferred destination,” said tourism minister Ashok Panda.

Inaugurating the event, chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: “The strength of Odisha lies in its cultural heritage. Ethnic, Buddhist and eco-tourism have gained momentum recently and attracted a lot of tourists to the state. A lot of initiatives are being taken to make Odisha a global tourist destination.”

J.K. Mohanty, an eminent hotelier, said there was need for the state tourism department to spend at least 20 per cent of its budget on technology development.

“Odisha tourism can be marketed globally using social media platforms by developing world-class content strategy that would help users to share, review and comment. Also, attractive tourist destinations can be promoted through blog posts, podcasts, videos and e-newsletters,” said Mohanty. FICCI, in association with Odisha government, is organising the second edition of the event that will act as a platform to promote tourist destination in Odisha and bring together tour operators from across the globe, along with local operators, stakeholders and policy makers.

Around 60 foreign tour operators from 23 countries and 16 leading domestic tour operators have congregated here for the event.

Around 56 tour operators and hoteliers from Odisha are also here to market tourism products of the state.