Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Thursday sought the Centres support in formulating a policy for growth of tourism that will enable cross-flow of tourists among eastern Indian states.
A strong plea for Centres support in working out a comprehensive tourism package was made by Odisha Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi at the two-day National Tourism Conference, being organised in association with FICCI at the Eco Retreat tourism festival at Konark.
“It will be wonderful if tourists visiting Andhra Pradesh or West Bengal can have a look at our beautiful state and vice-versa. A comprehensive package must be formulated in this regard and therefore, the support of Central government is needed,” Panigrahi said
The minister said the state government is planning a second round of tourism conference at Konark towards the end of this year where more participation of neighbouring states is expected.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal described the seaside pilgrim town of Puri as a symbol of peace and said the temple of Lord Jagannath embodies the heart of the universe and therefore conveys the message of peace to everyone.
“Therefore, leaders of all faiths as well as heads of all states must visit Puri to get a feel of peace as at Puri one can realise the beautiful dance of Lord Jagannath,” said Lal.
Tourism minister of Gujarat Vasanbhai Ahir, who attended the conference, lauded the efforts of Odisha government for promoting tourism and said the state has a great potential and can use marketing to promote the tourism potential.
Odisha government has organised a tent city at Konark beach to attract visitors for the past one month. Encouraged by its success, the state tourism department has plans to replicate more such facilities at various locations of the state, possibly at Puri and Gopalpur.
The tourism department has also plans for introducing House Boats structures in regional water bodies to attract more tourists . The detailed plans for it would be unveiled soon, said Vishal Dev, Odisha Tourism, Sports and Youth Services Secretary.
The inaugural ceremony of the two-day event was attended among others by J K Mohanty, hotelier and Co-Chair, FICCI National Tourism Committee, OTDC chairperson Shreemayee Mishra and Sachin Ramsaran Jadhav, Director of Odisha Tourism.
Odisha is hosting the two-day conference with the objective of building strategic Centre-State and inter-state partnerships for boosting sustainable tourism.