Odisha plans 'Eco Retreat' at five destinations to revive COVID-hit tourism sector

Organised for the first time in the State, the event at Konark was highly successful with record occupancy and it evolved as a distinct tourism brand.

Published: 18th September 2020 11:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2020 11:12 AM   |  A+A-

Luxurious tents put up at Ramchandi beach in Odisha during the first edition of Eco Retreat last year.

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Government has decided to organise 'Eco Retreat' at multiple tourist destinations in the State this winter season. The event would help revive the tourism sector, the worst-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capitalising on the success of first edition of Eco Retreat organised on Ramchandi beach in Konark between December 15 and February 15, the Tourism department is all set to introduce the glamorous camping, popularly known as glamping events, at Badmul (Satkosia), Nalitapatia
(Bhitarkanika), Daringibadi and Hirakud along with Ramchandi.

The events planned to be organised through viability gap funding mode are slated to be held on different days between December 1 and February 28. Tourists will be provided accommodation in luxury tented cottages and associated facilities such as restaurant and sports activities besides cultural events. The
quality of service will be available at par with any 3 star category hotels.

Tourism Director Sachin Ramachandra Jadhav said such events will help revive tourism in Odisha. "Several efforts are on to position the State prominently in the domestic and international tourist source markets. We will be able to attract more tourists if we can organise events like Eco Retreat," he said.

Like the Konark Eco Retreat organised last time, the events this time also promise to be a unique experience of glamorous camping in luxury cottages, delectable cuisine, spa, adventure and water sports activities, nature trails and wholesome day itineraries and cultural evenings.

Organised for the first time in the State, the event at Konark was highly successful with record occupancy and it evolved as a distinct tourism brand. The cottage occupancy was around 89 per cent with over 4,000 tourists spending times in camps besides on an average 5,000 visitors a day enjoying the cultural
evenings organised during the two-month period.

"The feedback was people want to spend more if they are provided quality facilities. Based on the experience, we want to provide the tourists luxurious accommodation at the lap of the nature. People may not prefer to visit crowded places during Covid times, but they would like to visit in close settings. Events like Eco Retreat will be best option for them. We will also facilitate their travel to nearby destinations by organising day-tours," Jadhav added.

The Tourism department has invited application from reputed and experienced agencies for development, operation, management, maintenance, promotion and marketing of Eco Retreat project at the sites for a period of three months. The last date for submission of bids is October 9.

With Covid restricting movements of tourists from abroad, Odisha plans to capitalise on domestic travellers by offering them best experience at a reasonable cost.


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