ADTOI Convention showcases AP’s tourism investment opportunities
Andhra Pradesh as a state offers much more beyond its pilgrimage destinations and the government is making continuous efforts to highlight its various tourism offerings. The state is slowly unraveling its potential to the domestic travel market while marketing to international travellers
When it comes to tourism, India is yet to fully utilise its potential with its numerous offerings. But slowly the states have come forward to go beyond conventional tourism spots and identify numerous locations that can attract travellers from across the world. Andhra Pradesh has also gone beyond religious in offering some unique spots to increase tourist footfall. The presence of N Chandrababu Naidu, chief minister, Andhra Pradesh government; Bhuma Akhila Priya Reddy, minister for tourism, Andhra Pradesh and Ashima Mehrotra, director, ministry of tourism at a recent tourism convention showcased the proactiveness of the ministry to encash upon this opportunity.
In her address, Reddy informed, “The government of Andhra Pradesh is focusing on creating the necessary infrastructure required for tourism growth. The tourism policy gives immense opportunities for private investments in various areas that can become future tourist destinations. The proposed Formula 1 racing track near Krishna river and Adventure Sports Academy in Kadappa district are examples of the state’s efforts to push tourist inflow. We have already hosted several events this year like Hot Air Balloon Festival, Sounds on Sands while others are in the line up. We plan to make Andhra state the next favorite destination for Indian tourists.”
Naidu informed that Amravati, the new capital city which is being developed as a green field project will soon be among the top five cities in the world. By 2029, the state is looking to attract Rs 30,000 crore investment in the tourism sector, create 10 lakh jobs and increase the domestic tourist footfall to the state to 353 million from the current 153 million. Showcasing his strong belief in public private partnerships, he further revealed that the government has already allotted 10 acres of land in Visakhapatnam to the Lulu Group to build a world-class convention centre along with a shopping mall within the next two years.
He further added, “Andhra Pradesh will soon have electric vehicles as a cost effective and clean alternative because solar energy is soon going to be cheaper and our state has an abundance of it.”
Commenting on the tourism potential of the state, he stated, “We will develop five tourism hubs namely Amravati, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Anantpur and Rajamundry .” In his attempt to make tourism as a major contributor of the state’s economy he spoke about introducing new policies that favour the sector. He requested all the members to send in ideas and queries in order to work with the government and make Andhra Pradesh a tourism hub for the country.
At the convention hosted by Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), Rajat Sawhney, vice president, informed that this was their attempt to foray in the southern market. The association also announced the opening of their Andhra Pradesh chapter, led by K Vijay Mohan, president, AP tours. He said that the association will be penetrating the southern market and unveil new destinations that can transform the domestic tourism circuit.
Addressing the audience, PP Khanna, president, ADTOI said, “Visakhapatnam popularly known as Vizag is called the Goa of East India. It truly has some unique offerings for the domestic market with its well built infrastructure and third cleanest city of India tag. Domestic tourists are keen to explore more destinations and we as an association want to unravel new places. With better connectivity the state can exploit its tourism potential to the fullest. They can go beyond religious tourism and open circuits like Buddhist trail, tribal trail with more investment on the infrastructure front.” This shows the keen interest of domestic tour operators in promotion of new locations and bringing them to a traveller’s notice.