More Locations for Nature and Eco-Tourism Likely in Odisha
With the increasing popularity of the existing eco-retreat camps around Odisha, the state government has decided to identify more locations for the growth of nature and eco-tourism. This decision was taken at a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, S C Mohapatra, who directed the departments of tourism, forest and environment, and water resources to identify more locations to set up such eco-friendly tourist spots in the state.
The Chief Secretary has asked the district collectors to identify locations for setting up year-round eco-retreat sites, nature camps, day destinations, along with activities such as river cruise, boating, jungle safari, wildlife sighting towers.
“Selection of the appropriate site for nature tourism is very crucial for taking it to the next level”, said Mohapatra.
The tourism sector is still recovering from the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of international tourists has meant that the focus has turned to the domestic tourists who are visiting Odisha’s nature camps in good numbers.
More destinations, nature sites, and nature camps will generate more employment opportunities for the local populace and will help increase their income, mentioned the Chief Secretary. The proposals regarding scaling up such activities at Talasari, Konark, Satpada, Chandipur, Debrigarh, Bhitarkanita, Similipal, Daringibadi, Astarang, Satkosia, Tikarpada, Hirakud, Chilika, and Nalabana was also discussed in the meeting.
Additional Chief Secretary of Forest and Environment, Dr Mona Sharma suggested starting nature camps in 30 to 40 new locations this year. The meeting also included discussions regarding the possibility of including private players in the eco-tourism space to enhance competition and employment generation.