Bhubaneswar, Nov 28 (LocalWire): The footfall of foreign nationals to various eco-tourism destinations across the state has witnessed 46% growth in a 12-month-span, thanks to improved hospitality and infrastructure facilities.
With the steady rise in international tourists, revenue generation has climbed up to 12 fold as it was estimated at meager Rs 47 lakh in 2016-17 but registered Rs 5.6 crore in 2018-19, said officials.
The state is home to 40 eco-tourism destinations, which are treasure troves of scenic beauty and picturesque natural environments.
The eco-tourism destinations like Similipal, Bhitarkanika, Chilika, Daringibadi and Satakosia attract the international tourists.
The number international tourists, who stayed overnight at government facilities in 40 eco spots, was at 9,859 in 2016-17 while it rose to 13,785 in 2017-18.
In 2018-19, it made a quantum jump to 20,127, marking 46% increase than the preceding year, said the officials.
The sizeable bulk of international tourists who had made their way to eco-tourism spots of Odisha were from United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore, Netherland, Australia, Bangladesh, Denmark, Kazaksthan, Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea and Switzerland, according to officials.
The tourism department is working out a proposal to launch a 3-5 days’ special tour package covering eco-tourism, heritage and wildlife sites.
The objective is to woo the overseas tourists from European, south-east Asia and far-east Asian countries, Development Commissioner, Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said.
The details of the proposed package will be updated on the online eco-tourism website http://www.ecotourodisha.com to attract global tour operators.
From the web portal, the tour operators can book night stays.
‘The state government has also decided to revamp the tourists’ infrastructure facilities in seven other eco-tourism spots, Chandipur, Chitrakonda, Satiguda, Koraput-pine forest, Tensa, Patora dam site in Nuapada and Nrusinghanath to expand the international tourists’ footfall in Odisha,’ Mohapatra added.