Reported by Ranjan Rath
Koraput, Oct 24:
The severe cyclonic storm Hudhud has hit the tribal tourism circuit and eco-tourism industry hard in Odisha’s Koraput district.
“The district usually witnesses massive footfall of tourists during the peak season of October-February every year in the district. But there has been a 40 percent fall in tourist inflow during October this year”, said Bhagaban Khara, Tourist officer of Koraput.
He said a number of tourists come to the district via Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, but this time there have been no tourists as the Vishakhapatnam airport has been badly damaged by the cyclone.
Though the airport has started functioning partially, it has not been full-fledged operation yet, he added.
He said most of the tourists generally make their way to the undivided Koraput district from Vishakhapatnam by road via Salur, Sunki, Koraput and then go to Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada.
However, disruption of road communication in these cyclone-hit areas of the district has resulted in the drastic fall in the number of tourists to the district, he added.
Due to this, only a handful of overseas tourists are now seen in the weekly haat (market) at Mathili, Gobindapalli and Khairput in Malkangiri district; Kunduli, Anakadeli, Kotpad, Nandapur, Subei and Thubei in Koraput district and Chatikona, Dukuma, Majhiguda and Putasing in Rayagada district, Khara pointed out.
Of the 12 pedal boats and three motor boats provided by the state government, only one motor boat has survived the cyclone fury, he said.
He, however, said it would take some time to put the tourism industry of the undivided Koraput district back on track after the repair and renovation works are completed.