Bhubaneswar: A record footfall of foreign tourists numbering 84,658 was registered in Odisha in 2017 by November compared to previous years. In November alone, 13,473 tourists from abroad visited the State. The number of foreign tourists was 76,361 in the year 2016.
The number would cross the 1-lakh mark in 2017 when the December data is added, said Tourism Director Nitin Bhanudas Jawale.
The state’s revenue has also increased with number of foreign tourist footfalls.
Sources said the Government had earned Rs 350 crore from foreign tourists’ visit in 2016 while the revenue was Rs 388.05 crore till November 2017.
The State recorded a huge footfall of foreign tourists during the Asian Athletics in July and the World Hockey League held in Bhubaneswar in 2017.
In view of hosting more international sports events, the number of foreign tourists is expected to cross 1.5 lakh next year, Jawale said.
However, the State had registered a drastic fall in arrival of foreign visitors in 2015 despite huge funds spent on tourism infrastructure development and promotions during the Nabakalebar festival of Lord Jagannath. A total of 66,971 foreign tourists had visited in 2015 compared to 71,426 in 2014.
The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data show Odisha as a safer destination haven for foreign tourists. Four cases of crime against foreign nationals reported in the State between 2014 and 2016.