Odisha plans revival of tourism post lockdown

Keen to revive the severely- hit tourism sector in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Odisha government is planning to come out with a package for promotion of various destinations in the state to woo domestic travellers in the post lockdown scenario, an official said.

Chief Secretary A K Tripathy held a meeting with the officials concerned on Thursday, and directed them to prepare an incentive scheme to attract private investment in the hospitality and tourism industry which is considered to be a labour-intensive service sector.

"Domestic tourism is the core focus in the post lockdown phase as this segment is expected to revive faster than the others," Tripathy said.

The government has decided to prioritise the development projects in tourist destinations like Rambha and Satpada clusters in Chilika, Bhitarkanika national park, Chandrabhaga and Talsari beaches, he said.

Tripatahy also suggested the department to explore possibilities of developing "Eco-Retreat 2020" hubs in the locations like Daringbadi, Debrigarh, Satkosia, Konark and Mahanadi Riverbed between Naraj and Dhabaleswar.

He also directed the department to make a detailed operational plan involving various government agencies and key stakeholders.

"The comprehensive development of Buddhist circuit and Shamuka project near Puri were also discussed in the meeting," tourism department secretary Vishal Dev said.

He said the department has made a holistic assessment of Covid-19 impact on the tourism sector.

"There were cancellations of bookings due to the lockdown. All the stakeholders will need support from the financial institutions," Dev said.

He said the government will organise road shows in metros and tier-II cities across the country to attract domestic tourists.

"A special campaign will be taken up to promote the tourism sector with organising Odia food festivals across six cities," Dev added.
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