Suryakant Jena

Every year, the world celebrates September 27 as Tourism Day to focus on promoting tourism across the globe. Started by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), World Tourism Day is one of the truly global initiatives that aim towards making people understand the joy of exploring the world.


This year, the theme of World Tourism Day 2022, the 42nd edition of the event is ‘Rethinking Tourism’ which urges everyone to focus on understanding the growth of the tourism sector and its redevelopment after the COVID-19 setback.


Tourism plays a crucial role in ushering development in a nation and helps enhance its image. There are many countries all around the world which are completely dependent on tourism for their economy. World Tourism Day intends to promote awareness about significance of tourism in social, political, economic and cultural spheres. 

A look at tourism in Odisha:

The grand scenic beauty of nature, historic monuments, exotic sea beaches, luxuriant forests, majestic mountains, captivating wildlife, mystic waterfalls, beautiful handicrafts, vast waster bodies, famous classical and folk dances, enchanting music and most importantly its hospitable people make Odisha one of the favourites tourist-friendly state of India.

Odisha is renowned all over the world for offering matchless tourism experience. Blessed with a treasury of natural beauty from the serene coastline in the east to the overwhelming mountains in the south, the state is filled with some of the breathtaking scenic locations and fascinating landscapes. There are umpteen unexplored yet traveller-friendly locations. 

The state's glorious and vibrant heritage, art and craft, display of culture and tradition is unique and found nowhere over the world. Tribal culture, lively towns on the one hand and blissful wilderness with incredible flora and fauna attracts countless tourists to explore and satisfy their wanderlust.

Present tourism status in Odisha:

Odisha's importance to tourism reflects in the sector's contribution to the growth of the state and projecting its image all over the world. 

The state earns handsome revenue from tourism every year. It welcomed a total of 1.17 crore tourists in 2015 followed by 1.28 crore in 2016. The figures climbed up to touch 1.40 crore in 2017 before hitting a record-breaking 1.52 crore and 1.53 crore tourists in the two years thereafter. 

Tourism came to a grinding halt in the state after the outbreak of Covid pandemic and subsequent curbs. According to government data, the footfall of domestic tourists plummeted more than 84% due to the restrictions and came down to 23 lakh in 2020. Foreign tourists’ footfall dipped more than 99% in the year. 

During the year 2021-22, the trend of domestic tourist footfall seemed to have embarked on an upward curve. The number of tourists who came to the state was recorded at 39,01,923- a rise of 20% as compared to the previous year. But the international tourism contribution continues to remain negligible due to several reasons. 

Optimism on revival:

Odisha government remains hopeful that the tourism sector in the state will hit its robust growth curve like before. It has been taking several steps like outdoor branding, social media campaigns, tourism events, trade fairs, road shows, and art festivals to promote tourism. 

State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of World Tourism Day reiterated his government's commitment to showcasing the marvellous offerings of the state to the world to unlock the transformative power of tourism.


Experts opine that Odisha government should work hard to put the state's tourism back on the growth track with motto 'Rethinking Tourism' the essence of this year's World Tourism Day.