The issue was discussed at the Tourism Advisory Committee Meeting held here under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A P Padhi.
“It was decided in the meeting that a specific policy will be made for promoting tour packages to South East Asia in collaboration with Air Asia.
“This apart, new tour packages like Jagannath Trail, Coastal Trek, Coastal Cruise, Cycle Tours, Food Festivals and Weekend Gateways will be organised under the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation,” said state Tourism Secretary Arati Ahuja.
During the meeting, Padhi said a special tour package to South East Asian countries would help boost tourism in the state. He also directed to expedite the processes for setting up a sand art museum at Puri.
Tourism department officials said branding of Odisha Tourism would be done at the strategic places like airports in Delhi and other important cities, Mumbai Metro and international convention centres.
It would also be linked to upcoming major events in Paris, Singapore and Madrid, Director Tourism, Nitin Jawale said adding, three trips would be organised for senior citizens during 2017-18 under the Baristha Nagarika Tirthayatra Yojana like previous years.
The official said there has been steady growth in tourist footfall in Odisha over the last seven years.
In 2010 the total tourist footfall was around 76.41 lakh with 50,432 foreign tourists and it has been steadily increasing since then, they said.
By 2013, the total tourist footfall increased to 98.66 lakh with 66,675 foreign tourists and by 2016 (till November), the figure reached 110.62 lakh with 67,108 foreign tourists, the officials said.