Bhubaneswar: Odisha Tourism Conclave, 2017 organised by Hotel and Restaurants Association, Odisha (HRAO) was inaugurated by His Excellency, Dr. S.C. Jamir, Hon’ble Governor of Odisha on 17.06.2017 at Bhubaneswar. Chairman, CII, Odisha and CMD Nalco, Dr Tapan Kumar Chand, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Govt. of Odisha, Ms. Arti Ahuja were the Guests of Honour. The inaugural session was also attended by Chairman, HRAO, Shri J.K. Mohanty, who delivered the welcome address, Mr Rahul Chakroborty, FICCI, Shri Deepak Rathore, Advisor, HRAO and Shri Srinivas Subudhi, Secretary General, HRAO.
In his inaugural address, His Excellency, Dr. S.C. Jamir, informed that we should be proud of our heritage and heritage tourism can be a game changer. Mrs. Arti Ahuja, Principal Secretary, made a detailed presentation on tourist destinations in Odisha and the policy initiatives taken by Govt. of Odisha to promote tourism.
Addressing as Guest of Honour, Dr Tapan Kumar Chand said “Tourism sector in India is an entrepreneur’s paradise. As a green approach to development, it is considered as one of the key driving force that contributes in accelerating economy as well boosting employment” Citing Odisha as a spiritual, cultural and eco-tourism hub, Dr Chand, stressed on promoting the state from one of the tourist destination to the first choice as tourist destination.
Dr Chand, also representing the conclave as the as the Chairman of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Odisha State Council, outlined on the various plans and activities of CII in promoting & boosting the tourism sector. He informed that that travel and tourism is the third highest foreign exchange earner for the country. Tourism sector contributes 7.5% to the GDP and accounts for 9% of the total employment generation. Travel and tourism are sure drivers of growth and employment that’s why close on the heels of Odisha Investors’ Summit last year, CII Odisha has given focus on promotion on tourism and has created a theme for the year – Odisha Ahead: Inclusive and Responsible. “Inclusive growth and spread of employment among people in the marginal sections of the society is possible through promotion of travel and tourism” Dr Chand added.
He also emphasised on the need of ease of travel and tourism in Odisha by providing better connectivity, accommodation, safety and security of tourists. CII on its part will develop an index of ease of travel and tourism to market Odisha better. CII will give push for promotion of brand Odisha in tourism by organizing workshops, conferences, exhibitions and also programmes for tour operators who play critical role in making tourists travel to Odisha.
Dr. Chand also shared the plan of Aluminium Association of India (AAI), for promoting Odisha as the Aluminium Capital of India and for which AAI is actively considering a proposal for to set up an Aluminium Museum in Bhubaneswar for which they will soon approach Govt. of Odisha for allocation of land.
A large number of representatives of hotel industries, tourist organisations, NGOs and State Govt. Officials attended the conclave as participants.