Odisha to promote Buddhist tourism
In a move to promote Buddhist tourism, Odisha state government has been planning to organize road shows and cultural festivals in South-East Asian Countries. Odisha has been known for the Buddhist heritage sites spreading across the state.
Around 70,000m foreign tourists visited Odisha in 2013 and out those 10,000 have visited Buddhist circuits in the state.
“We have identified many countries like Japan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Laos, Korea, Cambodia, Myanmar, etc, for promoting the Buddhist heritage of Odisha. We want to take advantage of the strong cultural linkages with these countries,” stated Ashok Chandra Panda, minister of tourism and culture, Government of Odisha.
The secretary, tourism, Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhee, said that to promote Buddhist tourism – Odisha government would install a 100 ft Lord Buddha status at Deuli in Jajpur district – the government has acquired 39 acres for statue installation and 112 acres of land for ambiance and landscaping. The state tourism department has been allocated the work to Hindustan Construction Company.
Odisha state government has been also planning to have dedicated tourism police, with separate dress code at all the tourist destinations. Odisha tourism department joined hands with the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) to set up light and sound shows at Konark, Dhauli and Udaygiri-Khnadarigi caves in Bhubaneswar.
The state government has been also holding talks with airline companies both domestic and international to enhance the air connectivity to its capital city Bhubaneswar. The state government, in a significant move to boost the tourism, has reduced the VAT on ATF to five per cent from 20 per cent.
The state government has been taking many more steps to encourage the tourism and attract as much as foreign and domestic tourists to the state. Odisha state has many tourists place and the state government is also selecting some sites to develop tourism infrastructure.