The Centre has sanctioned Rs 64. 42 crore to the Orissa government during the first two years of the Eleventh Plan (2007-08 and 2008-09) for integrated development of tourism in the state including pilgrimage tourism.
"The development and promotion of tourism is undertaken primarily by the state governments. The Union ministry of tourism extends its financial assistance to the states for tourism related infrastructure projects which are identified in consultations with the state governments", Union minister for tourism Kumari Selja said in reply to a question of Rajya Sabha member Renubala Pradhan.
Meanwhile, tourist arrival figures show that the economic meltdown which began from October 2008 failed to impact Orissa’s inbound tourist arrivals in 2008. The state recorded tourist traffic of 64.02 lakh which included both domestic and international tourists. Out of the total tourist inflow of 64.02 lakh, 63, 58,445 were domestic tourist with the remaining 43,966 being foreign tourists. West Bengal had the largest share of the domestic tourist arrivals in Orissa at 18.3 per cent followed by Andhra Pradesh at 3.6 per cent.
Among the overseas tourists, 55 per cent of the overall foreign tourist arrivals were from western European countries while the rest were from places like USA, and Japan. The state government recorded a revenue of Rs 3,195.14 crore from tourism sector in 2007-08 which was a 15 per cent higher over the previous year. The state’s tourism revenue was calculated as per the tourist profile survey conducted in 2004-05, said the sources.
According to the survey, the average duration and spending of a domestic tourist was 3.9 days and Rs 1275 per day respectively. For a foreign tourist the average duration was 12.7 days and the expenditure was Rs 1944 per day, added sources.