Bhubaneswar, 27 May-2014: Aiming at increasing overseas tourist footfall in Odisha, the Tourism Department has decided to participate in five international travel and tour festivals, mostly in European countries. Road shows within the country are also in the pipeline. It was decided at a meeting of the tourism authorities along with the stakeholders of the industry on Monday.
The tourism festivals are Internationale Tourismus-BÃ¶rse Berlin (ITB Berlin), World Travel Market in London, FITUR in Madrid, BIT International Tourism Exchange in Milan and a festival hosted by United States Tour Operators Association at New York.
As per the Tourism Department statistics for 2012, as many as 64,719 foreign tourists visited the State against 60,722 in 2011; 50,432 in 2010 and 45,684 in 2009. “Since majority of tourists come from the European countries, we are focusing on selling our tourism products mostly in those markets. We are also aiming at UK and the USA which were also major tourist generating markets for Odisha in 2013 and 2012,” said Tourism Secretary Arvind Padhee.
Road shows will be held this year in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Patna, Surat, Visakhapatnam and Ahmedabad from where Odisha gets many domestic tourists. International road shows have not been finalised yet, Padhee added.
Last year, road shows were organised at Bangkok and Siam-Reap, Cambodia. These countries were selected to tap the tourists keen on visiting Buddhist sites in Odisha, said JK Mohanty, Chairman of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO).
As many as 8.47 million domestic tourists visited the State in 2011-12 compared to 7.77 million previous year.
Besides, the Tourism Department has plans to organise an Odisha Travel Mart next year. The Secretary said the department will invite all national and international stake-holders in the tourism sector like travel and tour operators, travel writers and hoteliers to visit Odisha and identify potential tourism products.
(Input Source: The New Indian Express)