Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Union government to include at least two tourist places of importance in the list of iconic tourism sites.
In his letter to Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, Naveen said: “Tourism sector contributes about 13% to the state’s GDP and needs a strategic boost. Keeping in view the importance of the tourism sector for the state of Odisha, it is requested that the Government of India may consider inclusion of at least two tourist places of importance in the list of Iconic Tourism Sites.”
Naveen proposed two of these sites – Konark Sun Temple, Chilika Lake, Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park and Diamond Triangle Buddhist Circuit – to be included in the list.
He further said that people of Odisha welcome the inclusion of Mahendragiri Peak in Gajapati district, Odisha’s second highest peak after Deomali Hill, as one among fifteen thematic destinations to be developed under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for the ‘Ramayana Circuit’.
Worth mentioning, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in her Budget speech that 17 iconic tourism sites will be developed into world class tourist destinations and serve as a model for other tourism sites.