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Odisha's tourism sector loses Rs 732 crore in aftermath of Cyclone Fani 

The Indian Express , Jul 20, 2019

Odisha has lost around Rs 732 crore in the tourism sector in the last two months following the widespread devastation caused by the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani, which made landfall at Puri district in May.

Fani also caused widespread devastation in Khordha and Cuttack districts, leaving residents without water and power for days. According to Odisha Hotel Owners Association Chairman J K Mohanty at the time, the loss to hotel and tourism business was around Rs 3,000 crore.

The figure regarding loss of revenue was reportedly provided by Tourism Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, while responding to a question in the assembly.

“While domestic tourists have seen a fall of about 84%, foreign tourists have fallen by 80 percent despite the festive season (Rath Yatra)”, said a source in the state tourism department. “We hope numbers will be restored by the next tourist season from November to February”.

Earlier this month, the state tourism department participated in roadshows hosted by FICCI in Mumbai and Delhi. The show was meant to target tour operators and travel businesses, providing them with information that the state was ready to receive visitors ahead of the Rath Yatra.

The state government has said it plans to release a new tourism policy by next year. There are plans to air connectivity between Bhubaneswar and foreign destinations like Dubai and Singapore to hike the number of foreign tourists which constitute a very small segment compared with domestic tourist inflow into the state.