Sustainable tourism gets a big boost in Odisha Budget 2020-21


Odisha Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari presented the annual budget for 2020-21 recently with an outlay of INR 1,50,000 crore, a rise of 11.1 in comparison to the previous fiscal.

With a vision to turn Odisha into a world-class tourist destination, the state government almost trebled the allocation for the development of ecotourism and set aside INR 25 crore of the INR 1.50 lakh crore. The allocated money will be spent on the development of new ecotourism sites and maintenance of the existing ones.

After receiving positive responses at the community-managed nature tourism sites, the state government decided to increase the allocation for ecotourism. The 40 nature tourism sites have helped more than 600 forest-dependent communities to earn INR 6.10 (till February), as against INR 5.6 crore in 2018-19 and INR 3.5 crore in 2017-18.

In 2019-20 fiscal, ecotourism sites in Similipal and Badmul in Satkosia alone earned over INR 2 crore.

According to officials, this year’s main focus would be to strengthen ecotourism infrastructure and build the capacity of forest-dependent communities.

The INR 25 crore set aside for ecotourism is part of the total allocation of the forest department which is INR 1,960 crore.