Bhubaneswar: Vishal Kumar Dev, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Sports and Youth Services has said that the government is aware of the concerns faced by the tourism and hospitality sector.
Mr.Dev was addressing Virtual Roundtable on COVID-19: Impact on State Tourism Sector organized by FICCI chaired by Minister Tourism Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi.
“We are working on a detailed support package to be offered to the industry, which would include hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and self-employed people including photographers, guides, etc., among others,” Mr.Dev said.
Highlighting the measures to promote Odisha tourism, he said that we are looking at roadshows, road trips from the neighbouring states, and scaling up of eco-retreats to cover more destinations. We have selected a partner that will help us in curating various itineraries and immersive experience packages to promote these packages, Mr Dev noted.
“For the long term, there has been a change in our approach to infrastructure development. We are developing infrastructure in a very planned and integrated manner. We are also looking at destinations in a holistic manner and a preparing master plan for each destination. A priority destination list has been identified consisting of 70 circuits and the government will invest in a big way. Our infrastructure development budget for this year has been doubled,” Principal Secretary said.
We will also be investing in new products, especially cruises and houseboats. We have selected India’s largest river cruise operator to start catamarans. By early next year we will have Odisha on the luxury river cruise map of the country, Mr Dev said.
He further said that the FICCI Odisha State Council has not only been highlighting the issues faced by the industry and various sectors but has been partnering with the government on various issues including the supply of oxygen.
Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Chair, FICCI Odisha State Council noted that the FICCI Odisha State Council has partnered the Govt of Odisha as its National Industry Partner for various programmes like Make in Odisha, Krushi Odisha, & Odisha 50 and organizing virtual roundtable on various sectors in association with state government. “We (FICCI) are also a part of the state government’s task force in vaccination drives and procuring medical oxygen supply,” she said.
JK Mohanty, Co-Chair, FICCI Tourism National Committee and CMD, Swosti Group said that the state has always put up a passionate and resolute fight towards natural calamities like cyclones and more recently, COVID. “The Odisha government has always swung into action. Most of our (the industry’s) demands have been considered and taken up at the highest level,” he said.
SK Dash, Director, Trip Process; Vishal Kamat, CEO, Kamat Group of Hotels; Sanjib Kumar Rout, FICCI Member and Founder President, CV Raman Global University, among others also put forth their views and suggestions