The Odisha government today announced roadshows in 10 countries as part of its efforts to attract more tourists to the state. Over 1 lakh foreign tourists have visited the state in 2017, official sources said. "The state will organize road shows in 10 countries, including the USA, the UK, Japan, France, Germany and China. These are the countries from where maximum tourists arrive in Odisha," state tourism secretary tourism Mona Sharma said after attending a Tourism Advisory Committee meeting here. Chief Secretary A P Padhi, who presided over the meeting, also announced the setting up of an e-visa facility at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, Sharma said. As Odisha now has the facility for international flight operations, the tourist footfall has increased, the tourism secretary said. The meeting also deliberated on ways to attract more investments in hotel industry, she said. "The arrival of foreign tourist has gone up to 1 lakh, a growth of around 31 per cent from last year.
Similarly, the arrival of domestic tourists has also increased by around nine per cent," Sharma said. The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has also produced seven promotional films on the state's prospects and they were widely appreciated at home and abroad, the tourism secretary said. Around 30 ecotourism spots have been developed in the state, the official said, adding that the state government has also lifted curbs on photography in tribal museums. Around 37 tourism projects, involving private sector investments through a single window mechanism, have been approved by the state government in the last few years. "Of these 37 projects, 12 have been cleared in 2017. The infrastructure for a tourist complex at Shamuka beach in Puri district has been laid and the project is now ready for allocation to private players," she added.