Bhubaneswar: The state tourism department said foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) in Odisha increased in 2017, compared to the previous year. According to the data available with the tourism department, total 84,658 foreigners visited the state till November 2017. Altogether 76,361 foreign tourists had visited the state in 2016.
"We are giving finishing touch to the December's data. But the FTA last year (till November) already crossed the 2016 figure. We expect that the foreign tourist arrival status will cross one lakh by the time we add the December's data," tourism director Nitin Jawale told TOI. Jawale said November-December was a peak tourist season and a large number of foreigners had thronged the state. In November alone, total 13,473 foreigners visited the state.
Department officials said foreign tourism got a boost due to some international sporting events, organised here last year. "We witnessed huge footfall of foreigners (players, their management officials, families and supporters) during the Asian Athletic in July and World Hockey League in December last year. The government had conducted massive promotional activities to promote Odisha," another tourism official said.
Earning of the state tourism department too recorded a boost. Sources said the state government earned nearly Rs 388.05 crore last year (till November) from the expenditure of the foreign tourists. In 2016, earning from the FTA was nearly Rs 350 crore.(With inputs from TOI)