Konark: ACS Tourism Surendra Kumar said, “Product innovation and diversification are key to developing the Tourism sector in Odisha.”
The Day 2 of Senior Officers’ Conference saw deliberation on ‘Making Odisha as a Tourism Hub’ by senior officials of Department of Tourism at Eco Retreat Konark.
ACS Tourism Surendra Kumar, Collector Kandhamal, Patil Ashish Ishwar and Collector Puri Samarth Verma highlighted various interventions being taken by Odisha Tourism for development and promotion of Tourism Sector in the State.
Shri Kumar said that recently launched the Odisha Tourism Policy 2022 that offers a slew of incentives for investors that is far more than what other States are currently offering along with two roadmaps which will act as a guiding principle for development of the Tourism sector with focused interventions across key destinations based on gap assessment and future plans.
State Administration is strategically forging ahead to develop Odisha as a tourism hub that offers diverse tourism offerings such as MICE, Wellness, Health, Eco Tourism and Sports Tourism with introduction of many innovative and niche tourism products such as caravans, camping, medical tourism, houseboats, cruises, yachts, etc.
16 Master Plans driven integrated tourism development is currently being undertaken to develop various tourism circuits.”
Giving a presentation on the key initiatives by the Tourism Department Highlighting the raw untapped beauty of the highlands of Kandhamal, District Collector Patil Ashish Ishwar said,” Kandhamal is being developed as a niche ecotourism circuit to promote its diverse landscape. From valleys like Ushabati and silent valley Mandasaru to wildlife concentrated areas like Belghar and various waterfalls or tribal tourism incorporating the Kutia Kondha tribes, several destinations have been identified and are being upgraded to promote community-driven sustainable tourism development. Initiatives such as Nature Camps and Eco Retreat are already in place promoting the rich tourism offerings of Kandhamal, while many home stays are under development”.
Apart from Shri Jagannath Dham, there are many alternate tourism offerings in Puri. Highlighting the initiatives District Collector Samarth Verma said, “Puri is being developed as a multi-day tourism destination including adventure and water sports, art and culture, leisure and luxury, ecotourism, cuisine, etc.
Apart from the Eco Retreat initiative that uses sustainability as the model but attracts high paying tourists, many resorts are being developed both in holy town Puri and Konark. Heritage crafts village Raghurajpur, Pipili, Blue Flag Beach, Nimantran Restaurant, water sports on Puri beach and Chandrabhaga beach, Balukhand Sanctuary, Satapada in Chilika Lake are few of the destination and products being developed to diversify Puri’s tourism offerings.”
The overall presentation of Tourism Department during the conference touched on the points of Policy, Infrastructure Development, Products Development, role of Government and Government Sector and Tourism Promotion.