By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 30, 2022: Twenty-two foreign tour operators from seven countries of Asia and Africa participated the 2nd Day of the Odisha Travel Bazaar.

Speaking on the occasion, Tourism Secretary Surendra Kumar said, “Odisha as a tourist destination offers world-class infrastructure and diversified product portfolio suiting the tastes of the discerning traveller. The state boasts of a number of experiences including a National Park, 19 wildlife sanctuaries, 482 km pristine coastline, 62 indigenous tribal groups, etc. Focusing on the popularity of road trips post-COVID, Odisha Tourism has launched the ‘Odisha by Road’ campaign, with multiple curated itineraries banking on the excellent quality of roads in the State’s hinterland and I welcome tourists to explore India’s best kept secret.”

The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Lenin Mohanty expounded on the various heritage corridor development projects being undertaken by the state at Puri, Bhubaneswar, Taptapani, and Sambalpur amongst others. Mohanty also highlighted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s focus on developing tourism infrastructure of the state.

Director-Tourism Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav made a presentation on Odisha Tourism’s initiatives for promotion of the State and said, “The State is focusing on new and innovative products such as Eco Retreats, Boat Clubs, Yachts, Caravans, Camping etc. to lure the new-age travelers to the State. Eco Tour nature camps being operated by Forest Department through local community participation are the State’s offerings on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism. In last four years, we have cleared 76 projects worth more than Rs 2700 crore which will create 3000+ direct and indirect employment in the state. 300+ local entrepreneurs have also been promoted for various tourism projects in the State.”

Giving insights on the State’s focus on Sports Tourism, President Hockey India Dillip Tirkey invited the domestic and foreign tour operators to watch the ongoing FIH Hockey Pro League currently being held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and promote trips to Odisha during the upcoming FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in the month January 2023.

Addressing foreign tour operators, Co-Chairman of FICCI Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Committee J K Mohanty discussed about the rich Buddhist culture prevalent in Odisha since more than 2000 years. With majority foreign tour operators from Southeast Asian countries participating in the event, he called upon FTOs to market the Buddhist Heritage sites and circuits in their respective countries.

The program witnessed cultural performance post the engaging session where Odissi and Gotipua dancers enthralled the audience.

22 foreign tour operators from countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam participated in the event. A B2B session with the domestic tour operators and a familiarization trip to tourist destinations like Bhubaneswar, Konark, Puri, Chilika, Dhauli, Bhitarkanika and Lalitgiri are also planned.

Director Gayatridevi Group Nirupama Biswal and Joint Director Tourism Biswajit Routray also spoke at the event.

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