Bhubaneswar, July 10 (LocalWire): Naveen Patnaik today wrote to the minister of state, culture and tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, requesting him to include two tourist destinations from the state in the list of Iconic Tourism Sites and boost the state’s GDP.
The chief minister wrote that while the people of Odisha welcomed the inclusion of the state’s second highest peak Mahendragiri in Gajapati district as one among the 15 thematic destinations to be developed under the swadesh darshan scheme for the ‘Ramayana Circuit’, the omission of Odisha from the list of 17 Iconic tourism sites surprised them.
Mentioning the state’s mesmerising array of tourist sites, from ancient to modern and manmade marvels, Patnaik attached a list of few of the cultural heritage sites of the state namely, Konark Sun Temple, Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika National Park, Similipal National Park and Diamond Triangle Buddhist Circuit.
The Iconic Tourism Sites would enhance visitors’ experience leading to increase in visits of both domestic and international tourists at these destinations.
As Tourism sector contributes about 13% to the state’s GDP, Patnaik emphasized on providing it a strategic boost by including at least two of the above listed important tourist places in the list of Iconic Tourism Sites.