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Nearly nine per cent growth in tourist arrival in Odisha




 Over Rs 258 crore was spent in last three years to boost tourism infrastructure in Odisha where foreign tourist arrival jumped by 14 per cent and that of overall visitors by 9 per cent during the period.

"The tourist arrival in the state has gone up from 98,66,810 in 2013 to 1,29,19,260 in 2016, recording a growth rate of nine per cent per annum," state's Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda told reporters.

"Similarly, the foreign tourist arrival grew from 66,675 in 2013 to 76,361 in 2016, posting a growth of 14 per cent," he said while briefing on the achievements of his department in last three years.

As part of a series of steps taken by the State government to boost tourism, an amount of Rs 258.96 crore was spent in the last three years for upgradation of infrastructure in tourism sector, the minister said.

Listing steps taken for attracting tourists, Panda said Bhubaneswar airport was declared an international airport which has helped in increasing the number of tourist arrival.

Air India is operating a direct flight from Varanasi to Bhubaneswar four days a week which would improve footfall of Buddhist tourists to the state, he said adding direct flight service between Bhubaneswar and Kuala Lumpur has been established by Air Asia.

Panda said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has also written to the Centre to provide visa on arrival facility in Bhubaneswar airport in the light of the new direct international air connectivity. In order to promote Buddhist tourism, the fourth Kalinga International Buddhist Conclave was held at

Udayagiri and Bhubaneswar from April 10 to 12 this year which was attended by scholars and researchers as well as tour operators from within the country and abroad, he said.

Steps are also being taken for public display of relic excavated from various sites, while a state-of-the-art museum for displaying Buddhist archaeological finds is coming up at Lalitgiri, the Minister said adding a light and sound programme has been made operational at Dhauli near here.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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