In a bid to promote water tourism Odisha State Tourism Department would introduce houseboats in the Chilka lake and water bodies of Bhitarkanika National Park. Chilika Lake is the largest Lagoon lake in India and Bhitarkanika National Park is a UNESCO designated Ramsar site. As of now both these destinations offer boating facilities, introduction of houseboats would enhance peoples tourist experience and would make these spots more attractive in the eyes of tourists.
Houseboat facilities could also mean that tourists would stay longer at these places. Vishal Dev the tourism secretary of Odisha state government told reporters in Bhubaneswar that houseboats would be introduced in the first phase at Chilka and Bhitarkanika National Park hinting that more such initiatives are planned for the other water of the state as well.
He also told reporters that surfing festival would be organised at Puri in Association with Surfing Federation of India (SFI) and state government wishes to make it an annual event. Dev also declared that the state government has selected 9 tourist circuits and 13 tourist destinations for development under its new tourism promotion activities
The chosen sites include- Sun City Konark, Kandilo cluster, Rambha tourism cluster, Gandhi circuit, Buddhist circuit, Samuka beach, Daringbadi Complex, Konark Marine Drive Eco Retreat, Surfing festival at Puri, houseboat operations at various sites and Dak Bunglow trail in Odisha.