Bhubaneswar, Odisha Tourism deparment will organise a month long mega event titled The Konark Sun City Festival similar to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat to position Odisha Tourism in global arena,Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said here today. The objective of organizing such event is to convert Konark from a day hopping destination to a destination for 2 to 3 days,Mr.Patnaik said while inaugurating the third edition of Odisha Travel Bazar (OTB). Aptly called India’s best kept secret Odisha has been consistently ranked among Indian’s top third investment destination over the last 15 years generating employment and contributing to the economy, the chief minister said.
The strength of Odisha, Mr.Patnaik said lies with the rich cultural legacy. Products like Eco Tourism , Heritage Tourism and event Tourism have gained momentum . He said with a slew of international sporting event, the state has established sports tourism as niche tourism product adding that endowed with some of India’s finest eco-tourism hotspots such as Chilika lagoon, Similipal, Bhitarkanika, Satksoia and Debrigarh, the state has witnessed the growth in tourism arrival which is a positive sign for the state, he said. The Odisha Travel Bazar which kick started today is being organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the state Tourism department
The chief minister said Odisha Tourism has made convergence with Forest Department to promote eco-tourism as 37 per cent of State’s total geographical territory is forest. Similarly, the Shamuka Special Tourism project, a flagship tourism project of Odisha Tourism, is expected to see development shortly. Considering the state’s rich Buddhist heritage, efforts are being taken to position Odisha among International Buddhist destinations,” he added. State Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, said the government is trying hard to position Odisha as the preferred tourist destination of the country.
The state participated in many national, international events and road shows to increase the visibility of tourism potential of the state. Tourism Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev said, “Odisha has one of the finest tourism policy of the country adding that the state is receiving good responses from tour operators for our tourism products.” Former FICCI President Jyotsna Suri said, “the State’s heritage, monuments, culture, temples national parks, ethnicity, tribal culture and scenic beaches cater to the needs of all tourists. With such a diversity in tourism products, Odisha has huge untapped Tourism potential for both domestic and international tourists”, she said.
In 2018, approximately 15 Lakh domestic tourists and 1.1 lakh foreign tourists visited the state. This year’s OTB will witness the participation of 26 leading Foreign Tour Operators from across 16 countries, 60 leading Domestic Tour Operators from across 19 cities in India as well as international airline and travel writer ? all of whom will engage in B2B meetings with about 50 tour operators and hoteliers from Odisha. The key highlight of the Summit is its exclusive focus on the business of inbound and domestic tourism. The Foreign Tour Operators (FTOs) and Domestic Tour Operators (DTOs) will be taken on FAM trips to familiarize about the tourism destinations of Odisha.
Structured Buyer Seller meets will be facilitated over three days to enable domestic and international collaborations in business opportunities . Apart from this, exclusive Familiarization (FAM) Trips will be organized for the participating Foreign Tour Operators, top of the line Inbound Tour Operators and leading Domestic Tour Operators. The purpose of hosting a FAM tour is to enhance the participants’ destination awareness to enable them to develop and promote diverse Tourism Products and Packages.