Bhubaneswar, Dec 23:
The Odisha government has decided to prepare a master plan for promotion and development of ecotourism destinations involving various communities, tour operators and other stakeholders.
Reviewing the progress of eco-tourism projects in a meeting, Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati Tuesday said that wildlife conservation and eco-tourism would be integrated through active participation of the community.
The government has constituted a committee, headed by Development Commissioner UN Behera with Tourism and Forest department secretaries as members, to work out the master plan.
Odisha Ecotourism Development Board has been asked to develop software for issuing online passes to the tourists through a single window e-platform.
Besides, it has been decided that the boats carrying the tourists for site seeing in eco-tourist destinations will be registered and insured, said an official release.
The boat owners will be asked to install GPS tracking devices in their boats for better guidance and security. Two delegations from Odisha have already studied the eco-tourism models adopted in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh while the Bio-Diversity Board has undertaken bio-diversity mapping of the eco-tourist destinations, said the release.
Experts, tour operators and hoteliers have suggested for development of six eco-tourist destinations in the first phase for immediate attraction of international tourists to the state.
The places Chilika, Bhitarkanika, Similipal, Kuldiha, Satkosia, Debrigarh, Nandankanan and Chandaka have been identified for augmentation of facilities and services.
The eco-tourists destinations like Bramhapura, Satapada, Balikhand, Anshupa, Saptasajya, Mangalajodi and Rajhans have also been taken up for development.
The meeting approved annual action plan of Rs. 4.37 crore for the year 2015-16 to carry out the master plan. (IANS)