Annual tourist footfalls in the state will touch the two-crore mark by 2020, a study by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has found.
The Assocham has projected that given the current tourism potential of the state, it can attract 1.9 crore tourists by 2020, an average growth at the rate of 9.85% per year from 2014.
An additional 82 lakh tourists will throng the state by the end of 2020. In 2014, 1.08 crore tourists visited different tourist destinations of the state.
Secretary general (Assocham) D S Rawat said, “In 2005, only 46.6 lakh people visited Odisha. In the last decade, it crossed the one crore mark, nearly three times of that in 2005. The growth has been recorded because of inclusive tourism policies adopted by the state.”
Assocham has suggested factors that can help boost tourism to achieve the projected target. Like Kerala, Odisha should develop the backwaters and make them attractive for overseas tourists. Because of backwaters resorts, Kerala has not been able to generate employment through development of backwaters, which in turn has helped sustain the tourism potential for long, but also has gained prominence in tourism map of India. Its hilly terrain and tea gardens and Ayurveda in the process also attracted tourists in drives, said Rawat.