Bhubaneswar: Tourism in Odisha is flourishing with record footfall of foreign tourists by November 2017 as compared to previous years.
The state breached earlier records in terms of growth in foreign tourist arrivals registering 84,658 till November 2017.
In November alone, total 13,473 foreign tourists have visited the state, whereas the number of foreign tourist arrivals was confined to 76,361 in the year 2016.
The number of foreign tourist arrivals will cross 1 lakh in 2017 after we add the December’s data, said Odisha Tourism Director Nitin Bhanudas Jawale.
The state’s revenue has also increased with number of foreign tourist footfalls.
Sources said that the government earned Rs 350 crore from the foreign tourists in 2016, while the revenue was nearly Rs 388.05 crore till November last year.
Odisha registered huge footfall of foreign tourists 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, the source said.
However, the state had registered drastic fall in arrival of foreign tourists in 2015 despite huge funds spent in tourism infrastructure development and promotions during Nabakalebara festival of Lord Jagannath. Total 66,971 foreign tourists had visited Odisha in 2015 as compared to 71,426 in 2014.
According to data of national crime records bureau (NCRB), Odisha continues to be safe haven for foreign tourists. The data revealed that four cases of crime against foreign nationals reported in Odisha between 2014 and 2016. The NCRB statistics said that there was no serious crime committed by the foreigners in Odisha during the period.
As Odisha recorded significant growth in number of foreign tourists last year, the state government is planning more to boost tourism. In view of hosting international sports events, the number of foreign tourists is expected to cross 1.5 lakh next year, Jawale said.