Bhubaneswar (OdishaLIVE Special Correspondent): Indian tour operators will promote Odisha as a hot tourist destination before the international audience. Members of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) shall showcase different unique features of Odisha tourism through their brochures in Europe and UK, IATO senior leadership team shared this here today

In the press meet answering the question of OdishaLIVE, IATO Bhubaneswar Convention Chairman Mr. Rajiv Mehra, said that leading Indian tour operators were presenting the unique features of Odisha tourism in the international market but due to some local issues it was told that the tribal areas of the state were not open. So Odisha was taken out from the brochures. However since the scenario has changed and the state govt. has given confidence now our members shall promote Odisha as an integral part of their package in Europe and UK market.

Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is organising the 33rd IATO Annual Convention from 7th – 10th September 2017 at Bhubaneswar in association with Odisha Tourism. This power packed convention is going to witness series of organisational talks and deliberations. Moreover Odisha will be showcased as a unique tourism product at the event inviting the potential stakeholders to promote it in both national and global sphere.

“The Convention is participated by many decision makers from the industry who promote various segment of tourism like MICE, pilgrimage, beach, wellness, ayurveda, tribal, cuisines, handicrafts  etc and Odisha has all the potential,” said Mr. Pronab Sarkar, President, IATO while addressing the media.

“Tourism in the state has some of the stunning and attractive destinations which are unexplored. Presently, the growth of tourist arrival to the state is about 9% which is more than the global tourist arrival of 4%. This increasing trend of tourist arrival is a positive sign for the state” said Dr. Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary Tourism, Govt of Odisha. She further said that Odisha tourism is inviting potential buyers of IATO to highlight different segments which Odisha offers.

Over one thousand members are participating in this annual convention of the apex body of Indian Tour Operators. Being a crucial convention on tourism business and operations it would help the participating states in selling their tourism in a long run. Total 15 states including Odisha are part of the event. Odisha tourism is organising post Convention FAM trips for the members to make them aware of the diversified tourism treasures of the state.

Mr. JK Mohanty, IATO Eastern Region Chairman & Chairman HRAO said that the convention will immensely benefit Odisha tourism to highlight its products and packages through the website and brochures of tour operators further the familiarisation trip will make the stakeholders see and believe the unique resources of Odisha on the map of global tourism.

“Concurrently with our convention, there will be Indian Travel Mart. It is an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase exciting and diverse range of destinations, conference and Incentive venues” said Mr. Lally Mathews, Hony. Secretary, IATO and Co-chairman of the Convention.

The dignitaries who are going to grace the inaugural ceremony of the convention include Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Union Tourism and Culture minister KJ Alphons.

Internationally known Odia sprinter Dutee Chand will be felicitated at the occasion.

The other dignitaries who addressed the media conference include Mr. Nitin B Jawale, Director Tourism, GoO and, Gagan Sarangi, Chairman IATO Odisha Chapter.

On 8th morning IATO in association with Odisha Tourism and other stakeholders is organising IATO Run for Responsible Tourism at 6 AM starting from Hotel Mayfair Lagoon.

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