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Skilling artisans to be trained for managing tourism in Odisha- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to integrate handloom handicrafts with tourism, weavers and handicraft artisans of the State will be trained in soft skills, hospitality and tourism management. The Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts department has proposed to train 730 master weavers, awardees, entrepreneurs, handicraft artisans of 73 handloom clusters across the State and has roped in faculty of Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management for the purpose. The initiative will be implemented through State Agency for Development of Handloom Clusters.

In the first phase, 80 weavers from Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts were given training on various aspects of hospitality and soft skills during a two-day programme that concluded on Friday.

Officials said the programme will also aid in promoting rural tourism. Currently, the State has weavers’ craft villages – Bayanagram – at Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur and work is underway to develop Maniabandha Buddhist Handloom Village in Cuttack, and Tassar Craft Village at Gopalpur in Jajpur.

Deputy Director of Textiles Ashutosh Mahanty said it has been observed that the handloom clusters and crafts villages are getting both domestic and foreign tourists in large numbers. “Hence, it is necessary for the artisans to have the skill set to engage the tourists in an informative and enriching hands on experience,’ he added. 

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