By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 25, 2018: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) on Sunday urged the state government to prepare a tourism master plan for making Odisha a preferred global tourist destination.

The major suggestions include a vibrant social media campaign like other states of Rajasthan, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat by spending at least 20 per cent of its publicity budget on information technology to promote destinations via social media.

This was among a slew of recommendations compiled in a booklet which was released on Sunday for the growth of tourism in Odisha and attracting visitors to different destinations of the state, HRAO Chairman J K Mohanty said.

“Coming to Facebook and Twitter, Odisha is much below the top states in almost all matrices. In terms of site optimization, Odisha Tourism website is not even linked to the Facebook page. It was suggested to engage with branding experts, hire professional IT agency of repute on a retainer basis, create comprehensive plan for branding and positioning Odisha, ensure that all components are given proper attention, create a strategic plan to develop, communicate and facilitate tourism on each of these parameters like people, culture, governance, immigration, investment, tourism and exports,” mentioned the recommendation booklet presented to development commissioner R Balakrishnan on Sunday.” the HRAO booklet observed.

A popular film star may also be appointed to promote Odisha as an attractive tourist destination, it suggested.

Mohanty said the association wants Odisha Tourism to focus on research to appropriately promote tourist destinations and prepare a tourism master plan for the next five years with a target for annual growth in footfalls to the state.

Recommendations in the booklet were compiled on the basis of suggestions made by participants including experts, officials and hoteliers during the 3rd Odisha Tourism Conclave organised by HRAO in August this year, Mohanty said.

The association also demanded increasing air connectivity to the state by reviving flights to Bangkok and exploring connectivity with Dubai, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh. The stat can double its domestic tourism with direct flight connectivity to cities like Varanasi, Bodh Gaya, Pune, Port Blair and Ahmedabad.

The Association sought proper planning of accommodation, traffic management, visitor experience and cleanliness in Puri to create a tourist-friendly environment. It also suggested to ensure cleanliness, sanitation and safety of visitors at tourist destinations like Kalijai temple, Konark, Dhauli, Rajarani, Mukteswar, Lingaraj Temple and Bindu Sagar areas.

Tourist infrastructure such as star hotels and better hygiene toilet facilities neds to be created at Konark. Besides, infrastructures like game parks, water parks, film studio like Ramoji Film City should be developed to engage tourists. Entertaining events like Rock Band shows, and Vintage Car Rally should be organised during peak tourist seasons.

The HRAO demanded to relax norms to get fire and liquor permissions and to make single window clearance for tourism projects. To attract investments to the state, land should be allotted to hoteliers in installment basis and through auction and benefits of tourism policy should be extended up to 2015 instead of 2020. It also proposed to set up State Tourism Development Authority and construct an international standard convention centre to attract international conferences and conventions to the state.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of