OST Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 2:
Private investment should be encouraged in development of tourism infrastructure to give a much needed fillip to the sector, experts at the Odisha Tourism Conclave- 2013 held here on Monday.
“Around 78 jobs are created for every million rupee investment in tourism as compared to 45 in the manufacturing sector and 10.7% of the total work force in the world (approximately 212 million) is contributed by the tourism industry,” State Tourism minister Maheswar Mohanty, the Chief Guest on the occasion, said.
“Sustainable tourism with a view to creating employment opportunities and bringing about socio-economic development to the community is the need of the hour,” he added.
District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) is in the process of identifying land or sites appropriate for tourism development with the objective of establishment and promotion of tourism in the state, the minister said. “Also, notification of Special Tourism Zones having huge tourism potential is in the offing by the state tourism promotion council,” he said.
The state government is all set to provide incentives like facilitation in obtaining various permissions and clearances from statutory bodies like CRZ, Municipal/local bodies, airports, pollution control board etc, to speed up private investments in Odisha. Single window mechanism will be used to fast-track the clearance of tourism projects.
“The government will assist in promotion of private tourism projects in national and international level through road shows, trade fairs etc,” Mohanty said.
There shall be a 3-tier Single Window Clearance Authority (SWCA) to give the much-required impetus to private sector tourism projects in the state, he added.
For investment up to Rs 50 crore, SWCA shall be constituted under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary, from Rs 50 crore to Rs 1,000 crore under Odisha Industries Facilitation Act (OIFA) 2004 and above Rs 1,000 crore a high level clearance authority headed by Chief Minister with members as constituted under the OIFA shall serve the purpose as specified under the new Odisha Tourism Policy 2013.
The new Odisha Tourism Policy 2013 envisages development of a land and property bank at key tourist locations throughout the state for development of tourism projects and creation of necessary infrastructure for attracting foreign tourists to the state, said J K Mohanty, CMD, Swosti group of hotels and Chairman, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO).
While tourist inflow to Odisha during the last five years has increased from a total of 65.24 lacs in 2008-09 to 93.57 lacs in 2012-13, the share of foreign tourists is much less in the state, Mohanty said.
The numbers of foreign tourists visiting the state was 42,303 in 2008-09 while it was 65,522 in the year 2012-13, he said.
The new tourism policy aims to increase India’s share of foreign tourists to 1% from the existing 0.6%, according to Mohanty.
“As the sector has more employment poten