The Odisha Tourism department is working towards releasing a new tourism policy for the state by 2020, informed, VishalKumar Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary to Government, Tourist Department, Government of Odisha. He also said that the department is looking to aggressively promote water sports activities and recreational projects in the state as well as introducing houseboats at the popular tourist destinations like Chilika and Bhitarkanika. “The government is mulling out plans to revise the existing tourism policy, we will be ready with the new policy by next year. The government has been aggressively promoting water sports and recreational tourism in the state. We are laying focus on niche tourism segments such as houseboats tourism, which seamlessly mingles with ecotourism water recreation. We shall strive to synergize the various segments of water-based tourism as a sustainable segment. The state has embarked on a project to diversify its tourism offering by exploring the potential of its waterbodies, wetlands and coastline,” revealed Dev at the Odisha Tourism roadshow organised in Delhi.
With the tourism sector contributing 13 per cent to Odisha’s GDP, the tourist inflow CAGR was recorded 9.1 percent during 2013 to 2017. The state government is expecting 2.4 crore tourist in 2020-21, up from 1.5 crore in 2018.
Besides, the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP) has also proposed the government to start cruise service in Chilika Lake in association with Forest and Environment and Tourism department.