Bhubaneswar: The tourism industry is regarded as one of the most important and faster growing industry around the world. It generates growth and employment across the whole country, and the travel industry in fact represents a decisive share of the revenue of many small localities. Travel has been of great interest of people since the start of the civilization, said the Odisha governor Dr. S.C. Jamir.

Addressing in the valedictory session of the 33rd IATO Annual Convention, here on Saturday, the governor said Odisha has been a tourists’ wonder for its ancient monuments and temples, beautiful long coastline, exquisite art and craft, naturally blessed diverse flora and fauna and most importantly it has a very sound and absorbing hospitality tradition. The state has everything what it takes to delight eyes and provide wellbeing for the body and peace to mind offering both physical and spiritual relaxation. Besides all these, the state has earned for itself a new name in the map of world sports as it becomes a successful host to a number of international sporting events and is ready to host many in the days ahead. Besides air linking to Malaysia, the state promises to have more air connectivity to other places and countries soon that will enhance state’s prospects in attracting tourists from all over the country and abroad. E-visa is definitely a good step in this regard.

Odisha’s wonderful heritage more widely known internationally with all sincerity and dedication and steps like participation in international travel meets and road shows in major cities across the country and the world are quite significant observed Governor.

India has been a tourist destination from earlier times. Our states possess their unique identity and beautiful image that attract visitors from all over the country and the world. We, in the country strongly believe and practice “Atithi Devo Bhava” that means a guest is akin to God, Governor added.

Government of India tourism department deputy director general Satyajeet Rajan, Odisha tourism principal secretary Dr. Mona Sharma, IATO president Pronab Sarkar, vice president Rajiv Mehra, senior vice president, Rajeev Kohli, and honorary secretary Lally Mathews also spoke on the occasion.