Officials say long coastline offers high potential to develop beach resorts
Uncertainty looms large over prospects of various sectors in the event of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. If there is one sector in Seemandhra that stands to gain by the division, it is tourism sector.
The coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions have a clear edge over Telangana which has only a few heritage sites in Hyderabad and Warangal to fall back on. Most of the revenue-generating tourist hotspots are scattered across Seemandhra region, be it the Araku-Visakhapatnam, Simhachalam, Tirupati, Horsely Hills and most importantly the extended coastline.
“Bifurcation will certainly have an impact on tourism sector and Seemandhra will gain an upper hand because of the long coastline that offers high potential to develop beach resorts that can turn tourist hotspots,” says an official associated with the Tourism Corporation.
“The coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh, despite having high potential for tourist destinations, has always been neglected by successive governments. Now that the division seems imminent, the Government should announce a special package for development of tourist sector in this region. A lot of attractive features can be added along the 1,000-km long coastline from Srikakulam to Nellore,” says Vijayawada Hotel Owners Association president K. Pattabhi Ram.
Listing the places that have high tourism potential, he cites examples of backwaters of Konaseema that can be developed on the lines of Kerala. Places including Vizianagaram that are a treasure trove of culture and history, the Buddhist sites in Krishna and Guntur districts and the Chandragiri Fort in Chittoor are the other ones.
“There is a wide scope to develop wildlife tourism in Pulikat Lake in Nellore, the Kolleru Lake in Krishna and West Godavari districts. “Beautiful hill stations can be groomed at Araku in Visakhapatnam and at Horsely Hills at Madanapalle in Chittoor district. Under temple tourism, apart from Tirupati and Kanakadurga temples, there are a good number of important ancient temples that are in a neglected state.
Sources in the Tourism Corporation indicate that things are moving at a fast pace for launch of the proposed beach corridor from Visakhapatnam to Bhimili and tenders have been called for development of RK Beach and Rishikonda.
As far as Kondapalli mega tourism circuit is concerned, there are gaps in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) which are being looked into, according to the source.