Bhubaneswar: As part of the initiatives to explore niche tourism segments, the Odisha Tourism Department has forayed into houseboat tourism to promote water sports and recreation tourism in the State.
The Department of Tourism concluded a three day familiarisation trip to Bhitarkanika National Park and Chilika Lake in its maiden outreach to owners and operators of luxury houseboats and watersports and recreation projects.
The state has embarked on a drive to diversify its tourism offerings by exploring the potential of the various waterbodies and wetlands that dot its landscape, besides its pristine 482 km long coastline.
The familiarisation trip witnessed the participation of 18 firms comprising 26 participants across six states including Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Telangana and West Bengal, apart from Odisha.
The key visits were to Bhitarkanika’s mangrove swamps, which have earned for themselves the sobriquet of “India’s Amazon” among new visitors. The survey of Chilika Lake region comprised visits to Rambha and Satapada sites, followed by Tampara Lake.
Kerala Tourism vitally contributed to the success of the initiative, wherein the officials from Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Ernakulam (Kochi) districts shared insights from the regulatory, promotional, technical and environmental perspectives.
The Department of Tourism intends to adopt best practices and vital learnings from thriving models of other states.
The FAM trip concluded with aninteractive session with all participants, during which vital inputs were shared with the Department of Tourism, across concerns such as infrastructure development for ensuring the success of the niche segments, safety and security concerns, experience packaging, among others.