Bhubaneswar (LocalWire) July 11: Odisha may soon offer destinations for water sports, and the opportunity to spend your quality vacation time in a houseboat.
In an effort to provide a major boost to the state’s economy, the Government of Odisha has embarked on a drive to diversify its tourism offerings by exploring the potential of various water bodies and wetlands that dot its landscape, besides its pristine 482 km long coastline.
“The government has very aggressively promoted water sports and recreation tourism in recent times.
We are laying special policy focus on niche tourism segments such as houseboat tourism, which seamlessly mingles with ecotourism and water recreation,” the state Department of Tourism commissioner-cum-secretary Vishal Kumar Dev said.
Dev was speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day familiarisation trip of owners and operators of luxury houseboats and water sports and recreation projects to Bhitarkanika National Park and Chilika Lake that was organised by his department recently.
The familiarisation trip was attended by representatives of 18 firms from six states including Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, and Odisha who were taken
The delegation visited India’s Amazon, the Bhitarkanika’s mangrove swamps, the Rambha and Satapada sites of and Chilika Lake, and the Tampara Lake.
The initiative was supported by Kerala Tourism with officials from Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Ernakulam (Kochi) districts sharing insights from the regulatory, promotional, technical and environmental perspectives.
“The state Department of Tourism intends to adopt best practices and vital learning from thriving models of other states,” Dev stated.
The tour was concluded with an interactive session with all participants providing vital inputs and suggestions, including concerns related to infrastructure development for ensuring the success of niche segments, safety and security, and packaging among others.
The Department of Tourism is also working on plans to incentivise investments in niche sectors such as water recreation, houseboat tourism, and night camping through policy interventions to enable larger participation of the private sector in promoting these as the ultimate tourist destination in India.