‘We are competing with 80 other Tier-II cities in India’

Every city needs a comprehensive perspective plan that addresses all possible developments. Connectivity, including international air connectivity, is one of the many requirements for putting the city on its path for take off. While there is a consensus on the need for a concerted effort to promote Visakhapatnam as a business, trade and tourist destination, there were different views on how to go about it. At the end of the day, we need to promote Vizag as a destination and in today’s highly competitive world bending over backwards is sometimes essential, CEO of city-based ACNInfotech Chaman Baid said. “Many times I am forced to offer a number of incentives like six months free-trial to attract clients. You should note Vizag is competing with 80 other Tier-II cities in India and 2,000 Tier-II cities across the world,” he explained. The efforts are being made to bring foreign airlines to fly from the city is laudable and this task should have been taken up by the Government and its officials, he added. The authorities have to have the big picture. They have to take into account all permutations and combinations of the spread and development of the urban sprawl and plan accordingly. The different departments have to work together to help the region develop, director (marketing) of Sankhya Technologies Pvt Ltd Murali Manohar Rao Bulusu said. The promotion of the region has to be taken up at multiple levels, he added. “We are willing to work with anyone who is getting something for the benefit of the region, which has tremendous scope for development.

However, what has been achieved is not enough-- there is a lot more to be done to actually benefit the trade and industry here,” vice-chairman of CII Vizag Zone and CMD of Shravan Shipping Sambasiva Rao said. There is a need to invite the representatives of the industry to interact with the visiting delegations of foreign airlines to make a comprehensive presentation on the ground realities. For air cargo exports, the city needs establishment of offices like additional drug controller and animal quarantine facility, among others, as industry representatives CII has been bringing pressure on the Government for the same, he added. Getting two international flights to the city is just the beginning. Many more operators are showing interest, Ch Ramakotaiah of Visakhapatnam Air Travellers Association said. A sound foundation has been laid and there is need to take it to the next level, secretary Vizagpatnam Chamber of Commerce Narayana Rao said.

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