Bhubaneswar: The Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management Bhubaneswar celebrated the World Tourism Day 2020 in its campus today by launching the first edition of the World Tourism Day Awards 2020. The annual World Tourism Day Awards launched by IITTM Bhubaneswar provide an opportunity to showcase and promote, encourage and reward tourism excellence. It also recognizes outstanding contributions in different areas of community and society. Contributions emphasize the awardee’s concern for the common good; willingness to give time and comfort, and the ability to draw together varied resources to solve problems, rather than technical competence. The Nodal Officer, Dr. Md. S. Hussain elaborated the significance of the occasion and deliberated upon the theme of the World Tourism Day: “Tourism and Rural Development”. The Chief Guest, Dr. Sangita Gosain, CEO, Guru Kelu Charan Mohapatra Odissi spoke about the huge untapped tourism potential of Odisha.
The awards were in different fields were bestowed on Anil Dhir for promotion of the culture and heritage, Alok Kumar Maharana for tourism development , Diana Sahu for Media and Journalism, Khalilur Raheman Khan for social service , Dr. B. Swajan for academics and Pravati Pattnaik for allied work.
Dhir, who is closely associated with INTACH and Cuttack Heritage Walks, said that a state like Odisha needs to promote rural tourism for boosting the economic revival. He said that massive infrastructure needs to be developed and proper marketing needs to be done. He said that Odisha should have a long term tourism policy with active private participation. States like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala and Goa have put themselves in the world tourism map, whereas Odisha, which is richly endowed with both tangible and intangible heritage, is one of the least preferred destinations.