Published on : Saturday, January 6, 2018
But Koraput fails to draw tourists due to lack of facilities such as drinking water, toilets, accommodation, amusement and security.
“How can we expect more tourist footfall when our areas lack basic facilities? Whoever comes here goes back feeling dejected because of the sorry state of affairs,” said Nihar Bisoi, a Jeypore-based hotelier.
The lack of seriousness to promote tourism in Koraput is evident from the condition of roads that lead to famous tourist destinations like Gupteswar, the Duduma and Gulumi waterfalls, state’s highest peak Deomali and a small hilltop village Maliguda.
Even though there has been an increase in the inflow of foreign tourists, the tribal economy has not been able to get any benefit out of it as the tourists stay at urban centres like Jeypore and Koraput, since there is lack of infrastructure at the remote tourist destinations.
Non-existent infrastructure, lop-sided funds distribution and lack of will and vision have actually pushed the tribal communities to almost obscurity.
“Koraput, being a tribal-dominated district, we can’t imagine of developing tourism without involving the local community. Each year, several hundreds of foreign and domestic tourists come to the district, but it rarely has any impact on the local tribal economy,” said Yugabrata Kar, a Puri-based tourism entrepreneur, who has been bringing tourists to Koraput for the past 20 years.
Tourism minister Ashok Chandra Panda said, “Over Rs 11 crore has been sanctioned in this fiscal to strengthen infrastructure at various tourist spots in Koraput district. Our focus is to strengthen tribal economy through tourism, and we are working on this.”