Bhubaneswar: The Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM) Bhubaneswar instituted the World Tourism Day Award to promote tourism in the country.

The first edition of the World Tourism Day Awards 2020 was conferred on Anil Dhir for promotion of the culture and heritage, Alok Kumar Maharana for tourism development , Diana Sahu for  media and Journalism, Khalilur Raheman Khan for social service ,  Dr. B. Swajan for academics and  Pravati Pattnaik for allied work.

The IITTM handed over the Awards on the occasion of World Tourism Day on Sunday. IITTM nodal officer Dr. Md. S. Hussain elaborated the significance of the occasion and deliberated upon the theme of the World Tourism Day: “Tourism and Rural Development”. The chief guest, Dr. Sangita Gosain, CEO,  Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odissi spoke about the huge untapped tourism potential of Odisha.  

Dhir, who is closely associated with INTACH and Cuttack Heritage Walks, said that a State like Odisha needs to promote rural tourism for boosting the economic   revival. He said that massive infrastructure needs to be developed and proper marketing needs to be done. He said that Odisha should have a long term tourism policy with active private participation. States like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala and Goa have put themselves in the world tourism map, whereas Odisha, which is richly endowed with both tangible and intangible heritage, is one of the least preferred destinations.