BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced opening of tourism sector that was badly hit due to a series of lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak. At an event organised to mark World Tourism Day, he called upon tourists to visit Odisha and enjoy stays amid safety protocols.
Reiterating the State Government’s commitment to unlock its vast potential in a post-pandemic world, Naveen said Odisha’s treasure of timeless monument, heritage, idyllic natural beauty, captivating landscape, diverse flora and fauna are travellers’ delight.
“This year’s World Tourism Day theme - Rural Tourism - is in line with Government’s initiative being practiced for the last five years. Our award winning initiative of eco-tourism nature camps run successfully by the local communities has been contributing to rural economy,” he said.
The Chief Minister also launched ‘Odisha by Road’ campaign and announced a chain of authentic Odia cuisine restaurants ‘Nimantran’ as part of new revival initiatives of the Tourism department.
A superbike rally, Kalinga Rides, was flagged off to launch the ‘Odisha by Road’ campaign on this occasion. The campaign aims to encourage tourists from within the State as well as from the neighbouring states to travel to various tourist destinations through the excellent network of roads, camp at eco-tour natural sites in the hinterlands of the State.
Flagging off the rally, Tourism and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi stressed the importance of tourist safety while focusing on revival of the tourism sector in post-pandemic times.
Panigrahi said the promotion of Odia cuisine is much warranted since this aspect of Odia culture has so far been largely unexplored. The need for promotion of a variety of traditional Odia cuisines will be covered by the initiative through Nimantran chain of restaurants.
The chain of restaurants will be managed by Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) through a dedicated wing and a variety of menu of authentic Odia cuisine drawn from various districts of Odisha will be catered in these restaurants.
OTDC had recently launched a day picnic package ‘Bana Bhoji’ that is expected to boost tourism among the Odia tourists by arranging visits to nearby nature camps.
OTDC chairperson Shreemayee Mishra, Tourism Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev and Director Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav were present.