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Odisha Travel Bazaar to promote state as global tourism destination 

The Times of India , Oct 04, 2018

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.

He 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.

In a bid to take Odisha tourism as a popular global tourism destination state government in association with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is organising Odisha Travel Bazaar (OTB) from Friday. As many as 67 foreign tour operators from 23 countries and 16 leading domestic tour operators from across India 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.

“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.

Sources said, tapping into these opportunities the state government has been promoting tourism in a big way, with focused interventions for improvement in institutional mechanisms, marketing and expansion of hotel networks, under the guidance of Odisha Tourism Policy - 2016.

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.

“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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