Odisha Tourism leans in favour of so­cial me­dia to woo for­eign­ers

The DQWeek (Kolkata) - - REGIONAL NEWS - DQW NEWS BUREAU Bhubaneswar

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.

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