Odisha—India’s well-kept secret, says Sweden tour operator
Bhubaneswar: Twenty-six foreign tour operators, 93 students from IIT Bhubaneswar, 35 usual visitors enjoyed the sight of the old monuments during Ekamra Walks in Old Town Circuit on Sunday.
In the afternoon, 40 participants joined the Museum Walk at Kala Bhoomi and all combined the two Ekamra Walks today alone could gather 195 enthusiasts of history, archaeology, art, crafts, traditions and rituals. The morning footfall was managed through three separate groups by three guides.
Tour operator from Stockholm Cecelia Purits of Samuel Travels summed up her three days’ stay as a memorable one as she has visited the state on earlier occasions as well. Everything here has a nice story to tell, she said. “Odisha India’s well kept secret. I hope you all should work towards keeping the secret intact forever,’’ was her comment.
Michel Binder from Austria, from Omega Tour said “the capital city should be connected with more international flights and travel by a city like Delhi not only consumes time, but once I had nearly missed my flight. The e-visa system should also start in the airport to make the travel easier and smoother.’’
Michel, who travelled to Puri and some tribal heartland, said the state has got an immense potential to attract foreign tourists.
Rita Erdosi of Seasons Tour from Hungary termed her visit meaningful and said that the state’s tourism treasure has attracted her like anything.
Aonjira Somjai from Bangkok, Thailand, a member of Rakyim Tour, said “Odisha has got a nice potential to attract tourists from East Asian nations due to its deep tooted Buddhist connections.’’
Linlir U from Wengchu, China said “the people and temples of Odisha are very beautiful and it has a great potential to tap foreign tourists.’’
Guy Haggege from Paris, France of Trocadero Swing Communication, a company managing conferences and gathering, said “we would also like to bring visitors from Europe, but the pollution like plastics near monuments should be managed well and Odisha should give more emphasis to professional education in tourism management to deal with the more inflow of visitors.
Shantanu Patra, professor with the School of Infrastructure with IIT Bhubaneswar said “the exposure visit for students would be a different type of experience and many students might come again and again to know more about the ancient structures.’’
First year engineering students from various disciplines like Samatha, Mamatha, Sneha, Amruth, Abhisekh termed the visit as educative and “special’’.
History honours student from BJB College, Saismita Khuntia, who is originally from Jatni near city outskirts said “as a student of history I am always attracted towards old structures, but Ekamra Walks has inspired me to take up a career in archaeology or conservation in future.’’