Chief Minister K. Rosaiah has asked the Tourism Department and AP Tourism Development Corporation to prepare a master plan for employment intensive projects to achieve the twin objectives of promoting tourism and generating direct and indirect employment opportunities.

The Chief Minister on Sunday approved the final draft of the new tourism policy after discussions with Tourism Minister J. Geetha Reddy, Chief Secretary S.V. Prasad and Tourism Secretary Jayesh Ranjan. The tourism policy would be released on Monday.

Mr. Rosaih said 2011 would be observed as ‘visit Andhra Pradesh' year in recognition of the roll out of dynamic tourist promotion initiatives in the realm of adventure, pilgrimage and beach tourism to attract more international tourists.

As part of its tourism development policy, proposals were being processed for a total of 43 Jalayagnam sites into tourism destinations. In the first phase, 13 locations have been chosen for promotion of tourist infrastructure.

Plans are on to develop a sprawling modern garden on the lines of Brindavan gardens near Mysore and Lalbagh in Bengaluru at Nagarjunasagar. Around 400 acres of land has been identified at Nagalvaram village in Macherla mandal of Guntur district. The place has good connectivity and easy accessibility.

The Chief Minister said, “I want this park to be both a tourist and an educational destination unique in the entire South India. Wherever possible such employment-intensive tourist projects should be promoted to provide jobs to skilled, unskilled and poor and illiterate people in rural areas.”

He complimented officials of Tourism Department and APTDC for putting the State on the top of tourist map of the country by achieving record number of tourists at 129 million in 2009-10.

He said in recognition of the significance of tourism development on the overall economic growth, the budget allocation has been enhanced to Rs.620 lakh in 2010-11.

Release of dues

He said efforts will be made to get release of Rs.25 crore due to the State from the Centre. Boating will be provided at eight locations of which facilities are already in place in five (Kadem reservoir, Kandaleru, Somasila, Singur dam and Bhavanasi) and facilities are being developed at Gundlakamma, Brahmasagar and Jammulamma Cheruvu.

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