Near Odisha Chief Security Director-Home-Stay Policy ‘Wildlife Sanctuaries and Eco-sites

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has directed the Department of Tourism and Forests to formulate a ‘home-stay policy’ with identified wildlife sanctuaries and eco-destinations.
At the eco-tourism board meeting on Wednesday, Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathi said that eco-tourism will be developed along business lines through market demand and creation of private sector connectivity.Tripathi directed the Tourism and Forest and Environment Departments to work on ‘Stay Home-Stay Policy’ near identified wildlife sanctuaries and wildlife sites like Similipal, Bhitarkanika, Chilika, Daringibadi, Satakosia and others.
The Chief Secretary asked the two departments to popularize ‘Odisha destinations’ among various travel and tour operators in the world market.Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, who attended the meeting, suggested at least 10 Odisha destinations to be elevated to the next level of eco-tourism.
The meeting decided to further develop eco sites with facilities such as sports, trekking, wildlife watching, cycling, boating, jungle safari, photography, canopy walks and farm visit activities. “Such facilities would be created under joint collaboration of government and private players,” Mohapatra said.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) Hari Sankar Upadhaya said that till the date 40 eco-tourist destinations had been developed and made open to the visitors in different parts of the state. Around 298 tent and rooms with the capacity of accommodating around 800 persons per day had been put into the services of the visitors, he said.
Upadhaya said at present around 1,000 local people including both men and women are getting additional livelihood support from the activities like hospitality, home keeping, care, conservation and other ancillary activities in these spots.
An official said the eco-tourism website is often visited by nature lovers from different parts of the globe.
The website has received 11,52,091 ‘Hits’ from April 2016 till the date, the official said, adding that the concept of eco-tourism is new to the state but is getting good response from tourists leading to revenue generation.

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