14 October 2019
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the third edition of Odisha Travel Bazaar (OTB 2019) at a function organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Tourism Department of Odisha in the Capital City on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion Naveen said, “Endowed with some of India’s finest eco-tourism hotspots such as Chilika lagoon, Similipal, Bhitarkanika, Satksoia and Debrigarh, the state has witnessed a 9 % growth in tourist arrival which is more than the global tourist growth of 4%. This trend is a positive sign for the State. I am glad to say that Odisha Tourism has made convergence with the Forest Department to promote eco-tourism as 37% of the State’s total geographical territory is forested.”
To position Odisha Tourism in the global arena, the Department is going to organise a month-long mega event titled ‘The Konark Sun City Festival’ similar to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The objective is to convert Konark from a day hopping destination to a destination for 2 to 3 days.
Similarly, the ‘Shamuka Special Tourism’ project, a flagship tourism project of Odisha Tourism, is expected to see development shortly. Considering the state’s rich Buddhist heritage, efforts are being taken to position Odisha among international Buddhist destinations, the CM added.
Tourism Department Minister, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi said, “We are trying hard to position Odisha as the preferred tourist destination of the country. To increase the visibility of tourism potential of the state, we participated in so many national, international events and roadshows.”
Tourism Secretary, Vishal Dev said that Odisha has one of the finest tourism policy of the country. “We are receiving good responses from tour operators for our tourism products. We are reaching out and giving training to drivers and travel agencies on etiquettes and tourist sites.”
Speaking on the occasion Past president FICCI, Jyotsna Suri said, the State’s heritage, monuments, culture, temples national parks, ethnicity, tribal culture and scenic beaches cater to the needs of all tourists. “With such a diversity in tourism products, Odisha has huge untapped Tourism potential for both domestic and international tourists. In 2018, approximately 15 Lakh domestic tourists and 1.1 lakh foreign tourists visited the state.”
Among others, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy, Tourism Department Director, Sachin Jadav, Co-Chairman, FICCI National Tourism Committee, JK Mohanty, Chairman, FICCI Eastern Region Tourism Committee, Souvagya Mohapatra were present on the occasion.
Mohapatra, the Executive Director of Mayfair Group said, "We need to focus on creating new tourism destinations once at a time. It is time for us to promote Chilika as a world tourism destination and bring substantial changes in terms of tourism infrastructure and investments."
"Government is already doing a great job in terms of marketing through social media for various tourism products; we should also put the equal effort to aggressively market the festivals such as Konark Dance Festival, Dhauli /KhandagiriMahotsav, Mukteswar Dance Festival," Mohapatra added.
This year’s OTB will witness the participation of 26 leading Foreign Tour Operators from across 16 countries, 60 leading Domestic Tour Operators from across 19 cities in India, as well as international airline and travel writer – all of whom will engage in B2B meetings with about 50 tour operators and hoteliers from Odisha who will be participating as Sellers to showcase and market the tourism products of Odisha.
The key highlight of the Summit is its exclusive focus on the business of inbound and domestic tourism. The Foreign Tour Operators (FTOs) and Domestic Tour Operators (DTOs) will be taken on FAM trips to familiarize about the tourism destinations of Odisha.
Structured Buyer–Seller meets will be facilitated over three days to enable domestic and international collaborations in business opportunities presented by Odisha's tourism and hospitality landscape. Around 2400 pre-scheduled B2B meetings will be organized between the Buyers and Sellers at Sellers’ booths in three days of OTB 2019.
Apart from this, exclusive Familiarization (FAM) Trips will be organized for the participating Foreign Tour Operators, top of the line Inbound Tour Operators and leading Domestic Tour Operators. The purpose of hosting a FAM tour is to enhance the participants' destination awareness to enable them to develop and promote diverse Tourism Products and Packages.
There are 3 FAM Tours being planned focusing on Odisha's Buddhist Sites, the Golden Triangle and the Ethnic Tourism Circuit set in the state's predominantly tribal, central and southern regions.