TNN Nov 13, 2009, ten. 40pm IST
BHUBANESWAR: Inside a bid to repair its high-end image that got reflectivity of the gold due to the Kandhamal riots, the state government has decided to launch a “Christian heritage tourism” in the state.
Tourism minister Debi Prasad Mishra announced the first of its kind religious tourism programme in the country, in the presence of 33 Archbishops associated with North India. These Archbishops from 26 dioceses are on a trip to Orissa.
“Orissa has huge potential for religious tourism, especially Christian heritage tourism. We have a large number of Baptist and Roman Catholic churches and colonial heritages in the state, which could attract a large number of tourists, inch said Mishra adding that Kandhamal episode is over and normalcy has returned towards the state. Though there was several communication gap that acquired brewed criticism from international bodies, things are crystal clear now. ”
Enos Das Pradhan, general secretary of the Synod of the Church of Northern India, said, “It really was unfortunate that our people were stressed and killed. But authorities came as a great assist and brought things into nor-malcy. The state has a lengthy history of Christianity and tranquil coexis-tence and the step to advertise religious tourism will make the particular bond stronger. ”
Bishop Lyngdoh, moderator of the team from the Archbishops said, “Tourism provides people together and can prove to be means to promote peace. We would like to neutralize the past experience within Kandhmal riot through tourism initiative. ” The team of Archbishops visited several tourist spots like Potagarh, Tampara, and Chilika. OTDC also plans to announce spe-cial packages for people of minority communities.
Despite changes in the global economy, the tourist inflow within the state has increased by 6. 3 per cent than the previous year, even as tourist influx across the globe has been affected by at least 10 to 15 per cent, sources stated.