Revenue from eco-tourism projects of Odisha booms
The eco-tourism programmes implemented by Odisha has been proved to be rewarding as the revenue generated from tourism activities is expected to reach Rs 6 crore by the end of the current financial year.
The total investment in eco-tourism projects by the state government is around Rs 34 crore, which has utilized for the development of 37 eco-tourism destinations from 2016-17 to 2018-19 with an objective to increase the inbound tourism and to strengthen the local economy.
“The revenue generation from tourism activities in these spots within this period has touched Rs 4 crore. Considering the present rate of booking for these spots, the revenue generation is expected to reach Rs 6 crore by this fiscal,” said Sandeep Tripathy, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife).
As per the estimations of the Forest and Environment Department, the revenue income from the eco-tourism spots is likely to reach Rs 10 crore by 2019-20 financial year.
“Tourist footfall and revenue generation have increased manifold in these spots, and our website ww.ecotourodisha.com, is often visited by nature lovers from 103 countries,” added Tripathy.
Visitors from countries like the USA, France, UK, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Canada, Singapore, Netherlands, Australia, China, Japan, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Hong Kong and Philippines have not only made online enquiry but also booked for destination of their choice.
The major eco-tourism attractions of the state, which lure foreign and domestic tourists are Dangmala (Bhitarkanika), Debrigarah, Satkosia Sands, Chhotkei, Kumari, Tikarapada, Jamunai, Nuanai and Daringibadi.
Chief Secretary of Odisha, Aditya Prasad Padhi has reviewed the working of the eco-tourism centers and directed the department to encourage private entrepreneurs in the sector for development of more eco-tourism spots and to generate employment opportunities for the local people. He also asked to initiate steps for identifying appropriate land near eco-spots to improve the infrastructural facilities.
“Other than generating revenue, these 37 spots are also providing additional livelihood support to around 1,000 local people in activities like hospitality, home keeping, care, conservation and other ancillary activities. The number of people engaged in these works will increase with rise in the number of visitors and tourists,” sadi Tripathy.
The Board decided to organize second edition of National Bird Festival at Mangalajodi (Chilika) during January-February 2019. The department was further asked to provide skill training to locals in the areas of tourism and hospitality.
It was also decided to launch chartered tours from Bhubaneswar to Bhitarkanika, Magalajodi, Nandankanan and Chandaka.