Odisha sees over 84 % drop in tourist footfall for COVID-19 pandemic
Bhubaneswar: COVID-19 pandemic, as it hit Odisha in March last year, has adversely affected the state tourism with over 84 per cent decline recorded in total number of tourists visiting the state in 2020-21.
As per the annual report of Odisha Tourism, the overall fall in tourist visitation (both domestic and abroad) to Odisha stood at 84.29 per cent in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20. While the number of foreigners visiting the state dropped by 99.35 %, the figure for domestic tourists (from & outside Odisha) went down by 84.19 %.
In 2020-21, total 23,76,523 domestic tourists visited the state as against 1,50,35,593 in 2019-20. The arrival of overall foreigners to the state dropped from 1,00,567 in 2019-20 to only 652 in 2020-21.
The downfall in overall tourist visitation to Odisha has been witnessed since 2019 as the state recorded 3.12 % fall in the total numbers of visitors in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19.
The Tourism Department has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to increase tourist arrivals to the state, extend their duration of stay, create basic tourist infrastructure, promote and position Odisha as one of the preferred destinations among domestic and international tourist markets, said a senior official.
As on March, 2021, 358 places in the state have been identified as Tourist Centers ( A place that holds potential to attract tourists from outside), he informed.
The department is also undertaking various post-pandemic measures to revive the sector. It has formulated SOPs and guidelines for stakeholders like hospitality units, tour operators, transport services, guides and excursion agents, the official added.