State bets on forest cover; plans tourism expo in Vizag
Chhattisgarh has substantially improved the infrastructure and facilities in the State and the tourists from all over India and abroad can now comfortably stay and enjoy themselves in the various destinations, especially Chitrakoot waterfalls, according to Mr Pankaj Sen Bhowmick, the General Manager of the State Tourism Board.
He told reporters here on Wednesday that the State Government had concentrated on improving facilities at tourist spots during the past decade after the State formation and “now we want to promote tourism in a big way. There is immense potential for tourism in the State, which has 44 per cent forest cover and various attractive tourist destinations. Chitrakoot waterfall, in particular, is the best in India and we have built a resort for tourists and they can have a memorable experience.”
Mr Bhowmick said the huge forest cover, bio-diversity and the pristine tribal culture make Chattisgarh a very attractive tourist destination, but “at present hardly two lakh tourists visit the State annually, with foreign tourists accounting for 5 per cent of them.” He said a Chattisgarh tourism expo would be conducted in Kolkata for three days from July 16 and a similar event was being planned in Visakhapatnam too.
He said efforts would be made to woo tourists visiting Visakhapatnam to extend their tours to Chattisgarh. “Vizag can serve as a sort of gateway to Chattisgarh for tourists from down south and other places. We are offering attractive packages to travel agencies here to promote Chattisgarh as well along with Vizag. Visakhapatnam-Jagadalpur-Chitrakoot-Raipur can be an attractive tourist circuit, especially for tourists from West Bengal who visit Vizag in large numbers,” he explained.
He said Raipur, the State capital, was well connected by rail to different parts of the country and the air connectivity was also good. “We are confident the State will attract many more tourists in future,” he said.
Ms K.R Jyothi, the tourist officer of Chattisgarh Tourism Board based at Vizag, said the local tourists and the travel agencies would be provided with all facilities .