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Saturday, 24 August, 2019, 14 : 20 PM [IST]

Odisha hopeful of getting Konark included into the list of Iconic Tourist sites project of the Centre

State Tourism to formalise the new Tourism Policy in early 2020
Odisha Tourism is hopeful that the Centre would consider its demand to include Konark, a UNESCO world heritage site, into the proposed list of Iconic Tourist Sites development. The Finance Minister in her budget speech had proposed to develop world-class tourist infrastructure at select 17 sites across the country.  

Unfortunately, none of the tourist sites from Odisha was included in the list of 17 sites announced by the Finance Minister. 

The 17 iconic sites that have been selected to serve as a model for other tourist destinations are the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, Ajanta and Ellora in Maharashtra, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, Colva in Goa, Amer Fort in Rajasthan, Somnath and Dholavira in Gujarat, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Hampi in Karnataka, Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, Kaziranga in Assam, Kumarakom in Kerala and the Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar. 

The Odisha CM, Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to Union Tourism & Culture Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel raising his concern for not considering neither Puri nor Konark in the list of Iconic sites. In the recent meeting of the State Tourism Ministers convened by the Tourism Ministry, the State Tourism Minister, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi had once again taken up the issue with the Union Minister. 

Speaking on the side lines of the FICCI Travel & Tourism Excellence Awards, Panigrahi said that he is quite hopeful of Konark being included in the list and a positive decision on the same on the part of the Central Tourism Ministry. “I am hopeful and expecting a favourable decision soon,” he said. 

He said that the State is ahead in many areas because of the government’s focused policy interventions and wanted the same level of performance in the Tourism sector as well. “CM wants Tourism also perform well as other departments.”  

The Tourism minister said that the draft tourism policy will be ready by October and the same will be formalised after due consultations by January next year. 

Commenting on marketing and promotions, the Minister said that the State Tourism will start its international campaign starting from September and lasting till February next year. He said that Odisha Tourism road shows will travel to 12 international destinations in the next six months.
 
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