Bhubaneswar, September 20 (LocalWire): The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) has called upon the state government to strengthen infrastructure facilities in the western districts of the state to realise the potential of the untapped tourist spots in the region.
“The western districts are endowed with natural scenic and picturesque spots and these breathtaking sites need to be explored and exposed to the outer world.
This would provide a fillip to the tourism sector in the state, besides augmenting the local economy,” HRAO vice-president S Siba Prasad said.
In a memorandum submitted to the Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, the Association stated that the Hirakud Dam, Samaleswari Temple, Leaning Temple of Huma, Ghanteswari Temple, Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary and the historic Nrusingnath Temple have all the ingredients of becoming major tourist destinations.
“These are attracting tourists, but the government still needs to give infrastructure facelift at these destinations,” the HRAO memorandum said.
The Association also highlighted various eco-tourism hotspots in the region.
“The Buddhist shrine in Boudh district, Ushakothi in Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary, Gudguda waterfall in Sambalpur, Deuljhari hot spring in Athmallik, Harishankar temple and waterfall in Balangir, Pradhanpat waterfall in Deogarh, birthplace of Bhimabhoi, Kandhara in Sambalpur, Samadhi Pitha of Bhima Bhoi at Khaliapali in Sonepur and Ranipur Jharial in Balangir have immense potential to attract large number of tourists throughout the year,” it stated.
HIRAO members also stressed that besides giving these places the much-needed exposure by way of publicity campaigns, the government also needs to improve road connectivity and help increase accommodation facilities at these places to drive growth in tourism sector here.
Once there is larger inflow of tourists, it will generate local employment.
The local handicraft products would also receive a boost with marketing link due to inflow of tourists, the memorandum said.