P. Sujatha Varma

Ropes in leading tour operators from West Bengal and Orissa

VIJAYAWADA: Implementing a slew of plans to boost its revenues, the Vijayawada division of the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has now hit upon a spanking new idea to promote its well-groomed resorts, temples, parks, islands and other tourist spots across Krishna district and its surrounding areas.

Known as `Famtour', a short form for familiarisation tour, the idea is reverberating the corridors of APTDC office these days.

As part of it, the corporation has roped in leading tourist and travel agents from States like West Bengal and Orissa. In all, seven members have come to acquaint themselves with the tourist spots and facilities provided by the APTDC.

The team includes Shankar Basu, a travel executive from Wheels Tours and Travels (Kolkata), Sadabrata Mattick of S.R. Tours and Travels (Kolkata), Bikas Chakroborty of Link India Tours and Travels and M. Agarwal, chief executive of Diamond Tours and Travels. The companies are recognised by the Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal.

Scenic spots

During the three-day visit, the agents were feasted on some breathtaking scenic views, including the blue expanse of the Godavari and a thrilling cruise on it, the magnificent Papikondalu, the picturesque Bhavani island, a river view from Punnami Berm Park, Nagarjuna Sagar and the undulating Ethipotala waterfalls near Macharla in Guntur district.

The Buddhist relics in Amaravathi, the Suryalanka beach, the Kondapalli toy village, the Undavalli caves, the Uppalapadu bird sanctuary, Hamsaladeevi (the point of confluence of the Krishna with the sea), the Kuchipudi village and the jungle trip to Maredimilli were other visits included in their exciting itinerary.

They viewed with great interest the touch of architectural brilliance in ancient temples and forts.

"The visitors were fed on a wealth of information on a variety of subjects, including our temples, resorts, accommodation facilities and cultural and adventurous activities, in addition to the magnificent natural scenery the places offer.

Now that they are convinced about the tourist potential of this place, it should not be a problem for them to convince others," says K.V. Venkateswara Rao, Divisional Manager of the APTDC.