Odisha targets 30% growth in foreign tourist arrivals

The Odisha government has set a target of 30% growth in foreign tourist arrivals at around one lakh travellers in the state this calendar year. In 2016, the state hosted 76,361 foreign tourists, most of them from Sri Lanka, Japan, some European and South Asian nations.

“We are witnessing a steady growth in foreign tourist arrivals over the years. In 2016, the state saw over 14% growth in overseas travellers from the previous year. This year, we hosted the Asian Athletics Championship that gave us very good opportunity to showcase the state at an international level. Looking at the current trends, we are expecting 30% growth in foreign tourist arrivals at around one lakh visitors,” said Nitin B Jawale, Managing Director, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation.”

The government is hopeful of attracting a large number of international sightseers to Odisha, for which different promotional activities have been lined up in China, Europe and South East Asia, among others.

Jawale stated that following the direct air connectivity with Malaysia, the South Asian countries provided a huge potential for the state. He also said the state government wants to strengthen Europe and the U.S. as their source markets.

Talking about domestic tourism, Jawale said that the state is a leading pilgrimage destination for Hindus and gets a very high number of travellers from within the country. In 2016, Odisha hosted over 1.28 crore tourists from all over the country. “This year, we are expecting around five percent increase in domestic tourists’ arrivals,” he added.