By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 4, 2018: As many as 67 Foreign Tour Operators (FTO) from 23 Countries and 16 leading Domestic Tour Operators (DTO) from across the country are all set to participate in the second edition of the Odisha Travel Bazar scheduled to begin here on Friday.

Chief Minister Nveen Patnaik will inaugurate the three-day event being organised jointly by the Odisha Tourism Department and FICC with an objective to woo more tourist to the state.

State Tourism Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev told news persons here that FTOs from countries like Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Philippine, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Netherland, U K, USA and 16 leading DTO s from Ahmedabad, Chenai, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Varnasi and Visakhapatnam will participate in the travel Bazar.

“Knowledge and awareness about Odisha outside the state was very limited. But visibility is not a problem anymore. We would continue with our strong marketing campaign in online as well as offline media and ensure that infrastructure facilities are up to the mark,” Dev pointed out.

The FTOs will engage in 1800 pre-scheduled B2B (business to business) meetings with 56 tourism sellers of Odisha to showcase the rich tourism and culture of the state.

Dev said Odisha registered an increase of 31% in the inflow of foreign and 9% increase in the inflow of domestic tourists compared to last year.

There are 357 identified tourist destinations all over 30 districts. The sanctuaries and wildlife parks like Bhitarkanika, Similipal National Park, Chandaka Elephant Reserve, Nandankanan and Chilika Lake are major natural tourist attraction in the state.

Good news is that tourists may avail e-VISA facility at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) before the Men’s Hockey World Cup -2018 scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar from November 27.

“We are constantly in touch with the government of India and pursuing the e-VISA facility at BPIA before the Men’s Hockey World Cup. So that not only tourists coming from different countries for the world cup but also those not interest in sports would also enjoy their trip to Odisha,” said tourism secretary Vishal Dev. E-VISA facility for tourists coming from 165 countries is available at 25 airports in India.

“Our aim is to make Odisha synonymous with hospitality. There are gaps but we are trying to overcome them,” said tourism director Archana Patnaik.

Chairman of tourism panel, FICCI, Odisha chapter, J K Mohanty said, “Odisha has been aggressively promoting Odisha in different parts of the world. To increase more foreign tourists to the state, we need more international connectivity and I am happy to announce that Air India would resume its Bhubaneswar to Bangkok flight from December 1, 2018. Air Asia has also planning to start Bhubaneswar-Bangkok direct flight very soon”.

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