A floating restaurant in the sea may become an added tourist attraction in the city with the Visakhapatnam Port Trust contemplating appointing a consultant to examine the viability of the project.
The idea was mooted by Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari during his recent visit to the city to attend a conference of officials from the major ports and inland waterways.
“We will seek an expression of interest to find out which successful model is best suited for Visakhapatnam. We have to study various options for technical and financial viability of the project,” Visakhapatnam Port Trust Deputy Chairman P.L. Haranadh told The Hindu .
The success of floating restaurants at other places will also form part of the study. Besides finding out the potential, the investment pattern will also be considered.
A.P. Tourism authorities had signed MoU with a Goa-based firm during the CII Partnership Summit but nothing has materialised so far.
Floating restaurants of Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Manta Resort, Tanzania, Conrad, Maldives, Good Hotel, London, Salt and Sill, Sweden, Salt & Water Catamarans, Serbia, Resorts World, Singapore and Odd Paris Seine, France are quite popular.
INS Viraat, the aircraft carrier of the Navy, was considered for conversion into a floating restaurant-cum-hotel after its decommissioning on July 23, 2016. Now a proposal to make it a museum at Yarada or Bheemili is under consideration.
VPT is keen on promoting cruise tourism for which it invested around ₹5 crore on a 102-metre passenger jetty near the fishing harbour during the International Fleet Review in 2016.
Due to objections from fishermen, the introduction of cruise boat was abandoned last year.
At present, a passenger ship mostly for the convenience of people taking up labour work in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is being operated between the city and Port Blair.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had suggested exploring cruise tourism between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada.