BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha Department in its 2016 tourism policy had batted for an array of tax and other incentives for people who are willing to establish water and adventure sports facilities in the state.
Two years down the line, the Tourism Department says that encouraged by the pro-tourism policies and incentives, many players have sent proposals for developing water sports and adventure sports facilities which are an untapped area in the state.
“We have been receiving proposals for setting up water sports, adventure sports and other similar facilities. People from other states should come forward to invest in Odisha to boost this sector,” Odisha Tourism Joint Director UK Pati told Orissa POST.
However, tourism experts believe that this area, which has immense potential, has not yet been explored. Many say that except for the Ramachandi Surf Festival, the state has no other water sports events.
“I often visit the Ramachandi Surf Festival held near Konrak. It offers para gliding, surfing and many other water sports events which are otherwise hardly seen in other parts of Odisha. In my opinion, if the Tourism Department enhances these facilities, tourists from other states and countries would love to visit,” Priyanka Swain, a software professional from the city said.
Experts are of the opinion that such additions could complement the tourism industry here. Former President of the Travel Agents Association of Odisha Simon Benjamine said, “Odisha has a long coastline and several beaches. If utilised properly, it can be easily converted into a tourism hotspot. In Odisha, areas except Ramchandi are yet to be explored.”
The Tourism Department said that some forms of adventure tourism to woo youths are available in the Satkosia region which offers camps during winter. Camps in forests are available throughout the area. This area is juxtaposed to the Mahanadi River and it adds to avenues of monsoon tourism.
Pravir Chakraborty, Assistant Director, Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) told OP that due to its vast coastline Odisha could be developed as a destination for water and adventure sports.
Rakesh Mahanta, OP