Tourism Award for Best Future Forward State: Odisha Bags Silver Award

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Tourism bagged the ‘Best Future Forward State’ in the silver category at the sixth edition of the Indian Responsible Tourism Awards.

Kerala won the Gold category award in the same segment.

The awards recognise champions of ethical travel as a regional partner of the reputed World Travel Market’s (WTM) Responsible Tourism Awards held in London.

For the first time, the award function was held outside Delhi, at Eco Retreat Odisha in Konark.

“Odisha’s contribution to promoting responsible tourism is well established. Our ecotourism model of community-managed nature camps have since 2016 empowered rural populations with alternate and sustainable livelihood. From developing Odisha’s tourism and hospitality infrastructure for greater resilience against disruptive events such as cyclones and pandemics, to ensuring responsible design of new tourism products – we have made sustainability our mantra”, said Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & OLLC, Government of Odisha.

“Over and above Responsible Tourism, it is our responsibility for 2021 to revive tourism. Apart from flagship offerings in niche segments, we are working towards making tourism community-led through our flagship project ‘Ecotour Odisha’, an award winning template not only for safe, inclusive and sustainable tourism but also for community and livelihood development through specialised skilling of community members. As part of our tourism revival strategy, work is underway to double the capacity of these nature camps from just over 300 room keys to over 600 in the near future while the recently commissioned Biju Expressway has greatly helped us take the benefits of tourism and hospitality to the hinterlands”, deliberated Vishal Dev, Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Odisha.

Tourism Secretary Vishal Dev said “Over and above Responsible Tourism, it is our responsibility for 2021 to revive tourism.

Apart from flagship offerings in niche segments, the state is working towards making tourism community-led through our flagship project ‘Ecotour Odisha’, an award winning template not only for safe, inclusive and sustainable tourism but also for community and livelihood development through specialised skilling of community members.

As part of tourism revival strategy, work is underway to double the capacity of these nature camps from just over 300 room keys to over 600 in the near future, he said.

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