New Delhi: Odisha tourism minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Thursday ddressed the ‘Odisha Tourism Virtual Roadshow – 2020’ held for Jharkhand tourism fraternity covering Ranchi,- Jamshedpur and Bokaro, organized by Odisha Tourism and FICCI.

Panigrahi said, “Odisha is India’s best-kept secret which has to offer many hidden tourist attractions. In the post-pandemic period, the Government is taking many initiatives for the revival of the sector.” 

Panigrahi assured full support of Odisha tourism for the revival of domestic tourism between the states.   

Tourism secretary Vishal Kumar Dev said, “The pandemic has changed the travel preferences of the tourist. Hence the ‘Odisha by Road’ campaign was launched to cater to the changing tourist needs of short-haul visits connecting Odisha’s tourist destinations with neighbouring states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, with a renewed emphasis on health safety of the visitors.”  

Tourism director Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav, said the Covid-19 pandemic has not dampened the willingness of the tourist to travel and this has encouraged Odisha to launch the eco-retreat at five locations namely Konark, Bhitarkanika, Hirakud, Satkosia and Daringbadi. 

Jadhav welcomed stakeholders of Jharkhand to experience the essence of Odisha and the new tourism products which the state has launched. 

A detailed presentation by Odisha tourism highlighted the steps taken by Odisha to train the local stakeholders on safety protocols and assured that all the necessary precautions are in place. There are 47 nature camps in Odisha and they have been given extensive training on safety measures. Regular workshops have been conducted for members of the hotel associations of Odisha. A workshop to train the tour operators will be held soon so that the stakeholders are prepared to welcome the guests. A dedicated online portal will update tourists about the safety of the destination to boost their confidence to travel. 

The Eco Retreat features world-class amenities for camping in luxury tents are complemented by experiences ranging from jungle trails to water sports, campfires to boat rides, cycling tours to adrenaline-pumping games, and lip-smacking food. All this comes with Odisha’s stamp of tourist safety assurance, backed by its stellar record in COVID management. The synergized application of SOPs and technology for added safety will secure tourists’ experience at every Eco Retreat. 

Drishti Travels founder & managing partner Sailesh Agarwal said The road trip campaign by Odisha is a welcome initiative and this will help to revive the domestic tourist movement between the two states. The tour operators from Jharkhand will promote the road trip campaigns and tourism products of Odisha.” 

Travel Link Managing director, Benjamin Simon said,  “Health and safety factors are top priorities for the state and the tourism stakeholders. All the stakeholders at every level are well prepared to welcome the tourists.” 

The Crown, Bhubaneswar, director Debasish Patnaik said, “Odisha Tourism is completely geared up to post COVID-19. Odisha is indeed a best-kept secret and every corner of the state will delight the tourist.”