Bhubaneswar: The State Government has spent Rs 475.82 crore on the promotion of the state tourism in the last eight year. This was informed by Tourism Minister Ashwini Patra in the Odisha Legislative Assembly recently.
The State Government has spent Rs 24 crore in the financial year 2014-15 while Rs 25.80 crore utilized on promotion of tourist places in Odisha during the next year (2015-16).
Similarly, the State Government has made an expenditure of Rs 71 crore in 2019-20, Rs 55.88 crore in 2018-19, Rs 55.91 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 31.50 crore in 2016-2017, said Patra responding to a question asked by Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati.
The spending has been increased to Rs 94.73 crore in the year 2020-21 and further to Rs 117 crore during the last financial year, he said.
The fund has been spent on promotion of Odisha Tourism at various print media, electronic media, outdoor branding, radio, social media platforms, digital media, road shows, sponsorship, Eco Retreat, national & international tourism fairs and festivals.
However, the Odisha Government has not sponsored any promotional program in foreign channels, he added.
In another written statement to the House, the Tourism Minister informed that the State has spent Rs 80.43 crore in organizing Eco Retreat festival during the last three years.
Rs 19.72 crore has been utilized for putting up infrastructure to provide 3 star hotel like hospitality to the tourists in the destinations like Konark, Satkosia, Hirakud, Bhitarkanika and Daringbadi. The Government has provided Rs 60.71 crore to the private operators.
An expenditure of Rs 7.53 crore has been made on organizing Eco Retreat at Konark in the 2019-20. However, the income generation was Rs 3.85 crore.
Similarly, the Government has spent Rs 30.82 crore in the Eco Retreat during 2021-21 and another Rs 42.08 crore in 2021-22. During the last two years, the festival was organized at Konark, Satkosia, Hirakud, Bhitarkanika and Daringbadi.
In return, the State Government has got revenue of Rs 5.13 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 4.43 crore in 2021-22. In total, the State Government was able to collect revenue of only Rs 13.41 crore.
The Minister, in his reply, stated that the main objective of organizing the Eco Retreat is to promote Odisha tourism, attract national & foreign tourists and provide 3 star hotel like hospitality to tourists in a peaceful and beautiful natural environment. It should not be right to compare the event as a commercial event, he said.