Bhubaneswar: A delegation comprising Director, Tourism and Head, Project Management Unit of Odisha Tourism was deputed to attend the Cruise Tourism Conference in Mumbai during 14-15 May 2022. In the panel discussion held on ‘Cruise Tourism: Success stories and Destination Development’, Sachin Jadhav, Director-Tourism gave a detailed presentation on Odisha’s strategic advantages for cruise tourism – sea based & river based, steps taken by the State Govt to develop & promote this segment.
Jadhav also shared the latest initiatives and products and various benefits which Government offers to investors and tour operators towards the growth and development of cruise tourism in the state. Odisha delegation had G2B & G2G meetings with various stakeholders who were attending the conference.
Below are the highlights of the presentation:
Luxury Houseboat ‘Garuda’ by Vikash Eco Resorts in Chilika
• First of its kind Luxury Houseboat in Chilika to be launched soon for commercial operation
• Packages consisting of overnight stay alongwith fullboard meals, activities and cruising covering different islands in Chilika.
• 2 Floors housing 2 Suite Rooms & 4 Premium Rooms, Bar & Restaurant
• Open Air Lobby in upper deck for Meetings/Conferences
• Investment of more than 3 Crores
• Indigenously designed, developed and manufactured in Barkul, Odisha.
• Project approved by Odisha Tourism through single window mechanism. Received licenses/statutory clearances from Chilika Development Authority, Directorate Ports and Inland Water Transport
Silver City Boat Club, Cuttack
• Inaugurated on 14th April 2021 as an Urban Recreation Facility for Cuttack City and neighboring areas.
• Recently completed 1 year of successful operation
• Has the 1st of its kind Floating Dining Facility in River Mahanadi
• 7 Nos. of modern boats with latest infrastructure and modern technology with hull design abroad. Offers enriching Water based activities like Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing
• Shortly introducing 30 Seater Floating Restaurant and 50 Seater Catamaran
• Catamaran proposed to operate from Cuttack to Dhabaleswar on day trip
• Multi Cuisine Restaurant & Bar by OTDC presently operating in the jetty
Hirakud Boat Club
• To develop Hirakud reservoir as a water recreation hub, Odisha Tourism is developing a boat club there with modern facilities like jetties for different types of boats to operate, restaurant, board walks, etc. The work has already been commissioned.
• In addition, private operators after receiving approvals from DoT have started operating water sports and cruise facilities in Hirakud.
• Dept. of Tourism has taken the initiative to refurbish and convert existing 4 Nos. of Catamarans into Luxury Houseboats on PPP mode in order to promote River Cruise Tourism in Odisha at par with global standards
• Tour packages shall be curated for tourists and shall cover Bhitarkanika National Park and adjoining areas of Gahirmatha Wilidlife Sanctuary
• Guests shall be offered unique experiences of cruising through the mangrove forests and shall be witnessing unique flora and fauna associated with mangrove forests of Bhitarkanika
Procurement of Cruise vessels and Floating Restaurant
• DoT is procuring 2 Cruise boats each with 40 pax capacity and 1 Floating Restaurant from a manufacturing facility in Kerala and the all these vessels are expected to be operationalized in Chilika in a couple of months.
Long term plans to promote River Cruise operations
• In the ongoing integrated masterplanning initiatives for destinations like Chilika, Bhitarkanika, Hirakud, Chandrabhaga and Satkosia, DoT is giving special emphasis to develop support infrastructure for river cruise like jetties, passenger terminals, amenities like restaurants, toilets, parking, etc.
• For the seamless cruise movement, DoT is engaging with other line departments like Water Resources, Forests & Environment, etc. for route demarcation, dredging, etc.
• In order to encourage private sector investments in the area, under Odisha Tourism Policy 2016 attractive incentives both fiscal and non-fiscal is offered.