BHUBANESWAR: Union Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought a special package from the Centre for development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in Koraput district to resuscitate the sector in the region.
Apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism in Koraput region has suffered recently due to the impact of cyclone Hudhud and a special package will go a long way in increasing tourist footfall in the area and become a huge economic multiplier for the people in the region and adjoining areas, Pradhan said in a letter to union minister for tourism and culture G Kishan Reddy. Pradhan said, the country has returned to normalcy after the Covid-19 pandemic during which tourism and hospitality sector was the hardest hit. The time is now ripe for unleashing massive growth in the tourism sector due to strong domestic spending and unrestricted movement of air traffic, he said.
Highlighting the massive potential for tourism development in Koraput, the union minister said it is situated in eastern ghats in southern Odisha and close to well-known tourist site Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh with similar topography, natural beauty and cultural wealth. The district also has good rail connectivity with vistadome coaches on the Koraput-Rayagada route.
Pradhan said while the Araku valley tourism circuit is well-developed and has now become renowned across the glove for its coffee plantations, drawing lakhs of tourists, Koraput has not been able to capitalise on its potential. Stating that Koraput offers a great opportunity for tourism development in line with the historic, environmental, ecological and spiritual circuits of Swadeshi darshan scheme, he said there is massive untapped potential in the district for growth in the sector.
Stating that under the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Tourism ministry has made efforts towards increasing tourist footfall through development of tourist facilities and infrastructure, Pradhan said this has been greatly appreciated by people of the country.