Bhubaneswar: The number of foreign tourists has increased in Odisha last year as compared to previous years reportedly due to flight services to Bhubaneswar from international destinations.
The State recorded the footfall of foreign tourists especially from Southeast Asia in December 2017. The tourists from the countries like USA, England and Germany have also visited the tourist destinations like Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark last year.
Thanks to air connectivity to Bhubaneswar from overseas that helped to increase number of tourists in the State.
The number increased after AirAsia launched direct flight from Bhubaneswar to Malaysia in 2017 connecting the Southeast Asian countries. The direct flight to Bangkok from Bhubaneswar airport also put positive effect on the Odisha tourism last year.
Besides, the influx of visitors was recorded high in Odisha due to flight services from state capital to other Indian cities.
Total 84,658 foreign tourists had arrived in Odisha by November 2017. Alone in December, 30,000 foreign tourists were recorded in the State. While the number of foreign tourist arrivals was minimal in 2015, it was confined to 76,361 in 2016.
The number of foreign tourists has increased by 33% in 2017 as compared to 2016. During the period, the domestic tourists visiting Odisha rose by around 12 lakh in 2017 against previous year 2016, said Odisha Tourism Director Nitin Bhanudas Jawale.
The number of foreign tourists was more during the Asian Athletic in July and World Hockey League in December last year. The government had also conducted promotional activities to promote Odisha tourism, he said.
On the other hand, the foreign tourist arrivals to India also increased in 2017, sources in the Ministry of Tourism said. The number crossed 1 crore in 2017, while the country registered 88 lakh in 2016 and 80 lakh in 2015. Alone in November, the number of foreign tourists was 90 lakh.