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Odisha organizes ecological retreats to boost tourism | India News

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BHUBANESHWAR / KONARK: Confined to her home for most of the pandemic since March last year, when Savitri Rout, 70, finally had the chance to go on a weekend getaway with her children and grandchildren in January, the family chose an ‘eco retreat’ along the Chandrabhaga beach in Konark. Sitting with her granddaughter in the dining room and watching the high tide hit the shore, she said she was happy to be out again.
Safety remains a primary concern for those who are willing to go out, but traveling very far is still not on the minds of many. Those interested in a vacation are clearly looking for spaces that can be the “one-stop shop” for all their vacation needs. In addition, although protocols exist, implementation and compliance is what dominates the conversations among tourists.
Speaking to TOI, Odisha Minister of Tourism and Culture Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi said: “There is no doubt that the tourism sector is one of the most affected by the pandemic, but it is also a fact that the reactivation of this sector it is a key priority area for us. We also want tourism in Odisha to grow beyond religious tourism so that people experience our coastal belt. ”
An experiment is being conducted to test the waters through the eco-retreat model at Konark and four other sites in Odisha. Offering tourists the option of staying in temporary luxury tent cabins, the ‘glamping’ retreats emerged in December and, despite the pandemic, have registered more than 60% occupancy. The state established the first green glamping retreat in Konark last year.
(The writer was in Odisha at the invitation of the state government)

Times of India

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