Odisha Tourism leans in favour of social media to woo foreigners
The state tourism department is all set to launch a massive outreach campaign on social media to attract tourists, mostly foreigners. A dedicated team is being formed to look after promotional activities of Odisha Tourism via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Youtube and Instagram.
“We already worked out a plan to engage our social media team for the campaign. Odisha Tourism will make its presence felt extensively on social media. As of now, we are promoting Odisha Tourism on Facebook and Twitter. Like our promotional campaigns in conventional media, we will intensify the propagation through social media,” state tourism direc- tor Nitin Jawale told TOI on the sidelines of three-day convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) that started here on Thursday.
Recently, the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management was assigned by the ministry of tourism to conduct a survey on the use of social media to woo foreigners into India. According to the survey report, foreigners are increasingly taking to social media platforms to know more about Indian destinations. The report said 89.30% foreigners, who were questioned during the survey, had tried to explore more information related to India through social media for tourism purposes. Nearly 31.88% foreigners had explored the accommodation option through social media.
“We realize the importance of social media these days and already adopted the technological intervention to attract tourists. While we as private stakeholders are trying to push Odisha Tourism on social media, the government should also launch vibrant marketing of our destinations through different social media platforms,” said J K Mohanty, chairman (eastern region) of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).
Odisha witnessed a growth in the number of foreign tourists in the first half of this year. Official sources said 39,352 foreign tourists visited the state between January and June, an increase of 2,415 compared to the arrival of 36,937 overseas visitors during the corresponding period in 2016. Altogether 76,361 foreign tourists visited the state in 2016, clocking over 14% growth in the number of overseas travellers from 2015.
The Odisha Tourism drew flak for the drop in the number of foreign tourists to the state in 2015 despite spending huge funds on development of infrastructure and promotional campaigns in the run-up to the mega Nabakalebara festival. In 2015, the footfall of foreign tourists dipped to 66,971 as compared to 71,426, who visited the state on 2014.