To counter the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry, Odisha Chief Secretary, Asit Tripathy has directed the Department of Tourism to start river cruise in the state. The Chief Secretary gave directions for the same while exploring possibilities of innovative tourism activities. In the Tripathy said, “River cruising itself is compatible with Covid-19 restrictions. There is a huge scope and latent market for world Class River cruising in Odisha. It can also be connected with many eco-spots and refill the economic activities in the sector.”

Secretary Tourism outlined the issues and presented the updates for discussion which revealed that three principal river cruise circuits can be developed in the state. These are river Mahanadi, Chilika Lake and Dangmala reserve forest including the national water way -5 from Dhamara to Paradeep. Bhitarkanika circuit can connect the spots like Chandbali- Aradi-Dhamara-Khola and other spots in Bhitarkanika. This circuit can be a 5 nights and 6 days cruise. Chilika circuit can connect Chilika, Kalijai-Nalabana-Honeymoon island-Mangalajodi-Satapada-Rajhans island-Satapada and Puri. It could be a 3 night and 4 days cruise.