Bhubaneswar: With the abduction of two Italians hitting tourism in the state, the Odisha government has decided to launch as special package of adventure cum pleasure trips to woo tourists.
Tourists visiting Odisha are mainly interested in exploring tribal areas and eco-tourism, but the kidnap of Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo, the two Italians, who were visiting some areas in the Daringbadi Tahsil of Kandhamal district last March have scared them.
"We hope Sanctuary Tourism will restore confidence of tourists," Forest and Environment Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said here.
Apart from the abduction saga, the tourism sector was also hit by restrictions imposed on entry of foreigners into tribal and Naxal-hit areas in the aftermath of the hostage crisis, he pointed out.
Mishra said the Tourism Department with the help of the Forest and Environment Department is now formulating an Eco-Tourism policy of which Sanctuary Tourism is a part.
Though the state boasts of two national parks, 18 sanctuaries, one biosphere reserve, two notified and one proposed tiger reserves and three elephant reserves, the new project is proposed to be launched at Similipal, Bhitarkanika and Satkosia from the next tourist season starting from October.
As part of the new measures aimed to attract visitors, the tourists interested to visit Bhitarkanika National Park would get facilities like natural trail, cottages and toilets, which would be implemented by the Mangrove Forest Division, Rajnagar, the minister said.