Odisha suffers loss of Rs 732 crore in tourism sector post cyclone Fani

Bhubaneswar: Odisha has lost around Rs 732 crore in the tourism sector in last two months following the widespread devastation caused by the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani which made landfall near Puri before razing through several other coastal districts of the State on May 3.

Odisha Tourism & Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi informed the State Assembly on Thursday that the revenue earned from the tourists has drastically reduced in last two months following the cyclone which has led the State to suffer a loss of Rs 732 crore.

Replying to a question of MLA Ashwini Patra in the House, Panigrahy said the districts of Khurda and Puri which is the tourism hub of the State has received less footfall of both domestic and foreign tourists in the month of May and June.

According to sources, only around 1, 09,000 domestic and 574 foreign tourists have visited Puri district in the last two months as against the expected footfall of 6, 65,000 domestic and around 3000 foreign tourists to the heritage region of the State.

Similarly, Bhubaneswar which forms the famous ‘Golden Triangle of Odisha Tourism’ with Puri and Konark has also witnessed less number of tourist footfall during the period. Sources said, Khurda district including Bhubaneswar has recorded footfall of around 2, 33,000  domestic and 2,268 foreign tourists against the estimated 3, 74,000 domestic and 3,700 number of foreign tourists.

Fani, the second most powerful cyclone to hit Odisha in two decades caused heavy destruction in the tourism sector of the State which witnesses a growth of 9-10 per cent annually. The infrastructure, connectivity and resources in tourism specific areas like Satapada, Puri town, Konark, Balukhand, capital Bhubaneswar and several other adjoining regions suffered extensive damages during the disaster.