Andhra Pradesh

A big boost to the tourism sector

A flying instructor from Aviator World giving lessons to a trainee in a powered parachute at Araku, near Visakhapatnam on November 29, 2016.

A flying instructor from Aviator World giving lessons to a trainee in a powered parachute at Araku, near Visakhapatnam on November 29, 2016.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

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Systematic approach in dealing with projects

From adventure parks and beach resorts to recreation centres, wayside amenities and experiential tourism, several projects are lined up to give a big boost to the tourism sector. During the recently concluded CII Partnership Summit, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department signed 56 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with an investment of ₹7,806 crore with private investors. In contrast, 96 MoUs worth ₹12,000 crore were signed in 2017 , with a majority of the projects failing to take off.

According to investors and industry players, this year the State government had made efforts to ink pacts with “serious investors on projects that are more realistic”. K. Vijay Mohan, president of Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA), told The Hindu: “The Tourism Minister had a meeting with each investor after the MoU was signed to get a clear understanding of the projects. There has been a more systematic approach from the State government in dealing with proposed tourism projects. On the whole, this time the projects are more realistic. I expect 30-40 % of the projects to be grounded in a year’s time.”

One of the major focus areas this year has been in creating more water and adventure sports zones. For instance, at Mulapadu in Krishna district and Araku, an adventure training tourism centre is coming up. The 6.16-crore project is being carried out by the ACAP Adventure Tourism Training Centre. Several major players like the Essel Group have inked deals with the State government on tourism projects across the State.

The Essel Group, for instance, will be coming up with an adventure park in the Bhavani Island at ₹500 crore. To give thrust to the art and culture of AP, a Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts is planned at ₹80 crore in the Amaravati Capital Region. Agri and rural tourism and farm stays are the new areas that will be addressed with projects coming up in the Krishna and the Visakhapatnam districts. “The roadmap seems good this year. Many reputed groups have come forward to invest. The Lulu project will give a huge boost to Brand Vizag,” said Sandeep Reddy, Palm Beach general manager and general secretary of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of AP.

This year, the tourism department is focussing on six key projects which include the Special Tourism Zone at Madhurawada and the INS Viraat aircraft carrier museum in Visakhapatnam, the Havelock Bridge in Rajamahendravaram, the Bhavani Island in the Krishna in Vijayawada, the Kakinada Hope Island under the Swadesh Darshan scheme in East Godavari district and the Gandikota Fort in Guntur district.

Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya said, “The major focus this time had been on serious investors. We have taken aggressive steps to take back land from non-serious investors and giving it to committed investors with a strong project blueprint. This will be our strategy going forward.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 12:23:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/a-big-boost-to-the-tourism-sector-of-ap/article22921102.ece

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