Mumbai, July 1 (LocalWire): The state tourism minister JP Panigrahi led a delegation at a set of roadshows by industry major FICCI in Mumbai on the 28 and 29 June.
Over 200 tour and travel operators from the city, who conducted rapid B2B networking with 18 leading tour operators from Odisha, were part of the delegation.
Commissioner-cum-secretary Vishal Dev initiated the presentation by highlighting Odisha across segments such as heritage tourism, ecotourism, ethnic tourism and spiritual tourism among others.
The IAS officer is known to have led Odisha’s emergence as India’s most vibrant sporting destination, emphasised the importance of the segment in terms of enhancing the state’s global brand image.
‘Bhubaneswar, one of India’s smartest and most liveable cities, is being increasingly connected to other parts of India and the world and also received commendations for conducting the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018, following the stellar organisation of the Asian Athletics Championships 2017.’
His presentation highlighted the key facets of Odisha’s tourism potential starting from stunning naturally endowed locations and sprawling biodiversity to significant monuments and unique art and craft.
‘We are especially focusing on segments like ecotourism, ethnic and handicrafts tourism, besides capitalising on niche segments like heritage homestays and adventure tourism, so that more tourists can explore the unexplored parts of Odisha – apart from the most popular destinations like Puri and Konark.’
The government expressed its intent to encourage exciting experiences like houseboat tourism and caravan tourism.
Hospitality doyen Vithal V Kamat while announcing his interest in expanding his group’s presence in Odisha, commended the leadership and the state government for being amongst the most dynamic, responsive and investor friendly in India. ‘While Odisha provides the best of shopping and culinary experiences, it is arguably amongst the most exotic destinations in the world.
The government of Odisha has convinced me to not just expand my presence in the state, but now I’m looking forward to settling down here.
Retained clients are the best indicators of your success in this sector.
Make Odisha your key offering and see your client retainership rise exponentially.’
Panigrahi hailed the government’s resolve and success at leading the state’s
recovery from Fani’s devastating impact. ‘I take great pride in announcing that Odisha will be celebrating Jagannath Rathyatra from 4 to 12 July, just 2 months after the cyclone ravaged Puri.
It is with this very dedication under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that we call upon you to collaborate with us in our endeavour to give the best of India’s best kept secret to India and the world.’
The roadshow concluded with a beautiful performance of Odissi dance.
Odisha, which witnessed 1.5 crore tourist footfalls in 2018, hopes to see the numbers rise to over 2.5 crore in 2021.
The state boasts some exciting tourist circuits including diverse wildlife tours across 18 protected areas and two national parks, an enigmatic Buddhist circuit, apart from the spiritually exhilarating Golden Triangle Heritage Circuit of Bhubaneswar -Puri – Konark.