State

Foreign tourist inflow to Bhitarkanika rises

Bhubaneswar, Oct 23: The footfall of foreign as well as domestic tourists to World famous Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, have shown encouraging growth.According to latest available statistics, as many as 2,681 tourists visited Bhitarkanika in September which is a 52 per cent jump over the corresponding month last year.In August though, the tourist inflow to Bhitarkanika was 1,968 reporting a 10 pc drop over the corresponding period in 2016.

However, what is heartening is in the two month period of August and September, as many as 53 foreign tourists visited Bhitarkanika. Compare this to August-September of 2016 when just one foreign national had paid a visit to the mangrove hotspot known to house some of the biggest saltwater crocodiles apart from being home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

What makes the number more significant is the fact that August and September are off-peak tourism seasons. The period from November to January is the peak season during which 60 pc of the year's tourist inflow is recorded.

Annually, about 75,000 tourists visit Bhitarkanika, one of Odisha's finest bio-diversity hotspots.

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