Odisha selects 10 new sites for eco retreats and 3 new sites for nature camps
Bhubaneswar: To increase the footfall of tourists and boost the tourism sector in Odisha, the state government has decided to develop eco-tourism and nature camps in 13 new places.
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on August 26 approved 10 new spots for eco-retreats with nigh stay facilities and three new spots for development of nature camps for the day tourists.
Deomali hill top in Koraput, Jakam of Kalahandi, Nawana of Similipal north, Silviculture garden of Phulbani, Muhana Muhana at Astaranga in Puri, Kotia in Koraput, Khadakhai dam in Rairangpur, Mahendragiri from Ganjam side in Berhampur, Kanjipani Ghat and Hadagarh dam in Keonjhar forest divisions are the 10 new sites selected for organising eco retreat events.
Similarly, Rani Duduma of Koraput, Dhaltangarh of Cuttack, and Bhandarpahar near Jhadeswari Temple of Nayagarh forest divisions are the new nature camps sites for the day tourists.
Mahapatra asked the concerned Divisional Forest Officers (DFOs) and supervising officers to ensure that each cottage are functioning properly with all facilities including the dining places, toilets among others.
He also directed the forest officials to involve local communities in hospitality.
Praising the eco tourism initiative, PCCF Sashi Paul said, “With the approval 13 new sites for developing eco retreat and nature camps, the total number of spots would increase to 63. These spots are growing popular with increasing footfalls and revenue generation. So far, around Rs.95 cr have been invested in development of the eco-destinations.”
There has been a constant increase in number of footfalls at the eco-tourism sites. It increased almost by 142 percent in last 5 years. It increased from 11,500 in the year 2017-18 to 29,024 in the year 2018-19, and then to 57,000 in the year 2020-21. The year 2021-22 witnessed the surge in footfall to 70,216. The revenue generated from eco-tourism increased from Rs.3.40 cr in 2017-18 to Rs.8.32 cr in 2020-21 and then to Rs. 10.52 cr in 2021-22.