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Government bets big on Andhra Pradesh's potential for tourism

Red sand dunes in Bheemili
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Red sand dunes in Bheemili 

Highlights

  • The govt is preparing plans not only to get more revenue but also increasing the income sources of local people
  • He says special focus will be the red sand dunes near Bheemili in Visakhapatnam

Amaravati: With the Chief Minister, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, recently laying emphasis on the development of tourism in the state, the tourism department is gearing up to take on the challenges. Holistic development of tourism keeping in view its potential in not only revving up the revenues but also in providing jobs and income sources to the locals are being taken into consideration.

Andhra Pradesh has a great potential to rock as a tourist destination, yet, it has miserably failed in doing so except in the numbers of religious tourism thanks to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) which is thronged by the devotees from across the country as well from across the world.

However, beyond a point, other destinations are in position to attract tourists. It is in this backdrop that the state government has woken up to the reality now. Going by the words of the tourism minister, M Srinivasa Rao, special tourism packages would be offered to the travel enthusiasts soon. Rayalaseema, Uttarandhra, Vijayawada and Godavari districts are to benefit as and when these packages are formulated.

From the sea to the forests and hills of the hinterland would be exploited to the full potential in this regard. Talakona in Rayalaseema, Horsley Hills near Madanapalli, Annavaram, Dindi and Paderu areas in and around Godavari districts and Araku, Simhachalam, Arasavilli and Srikurmam areas potential is also to be tapped with greater publicity and better facilities.

While food is not a problem in these areas, it is the road connectivity that matters a lot, according to the minister. However, coastal Andhra being well connected by air and by rail, it would be an advantage, he feels.

According to the minister, 13 new five star hotels will be coming up soon. While the government has set aside Rs 4 crore as incentives for rural tourism, land has been given for establishing tourist complex near Polavaram project site.

The tourism minister who is also in-charge of sports, also says sports centres will be built in 15 centres in the state and Visakhapatnam, Kadapa and East Godavari district will soon have world class sporting facilities.

Of special focus would be the red sand dunes near Bheemili, Visakhapatnam, according to the minister. The state government seeks to promote the attraction vigorously as it moves towards making Visakhapatnam the administrative Capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Recently, the government has also received a report from the tourism operators in the state suggesting several measures to promote the field. Developing attractive beaches, mostly near Visakhapatnam, is one of the suggestions made by them to the government.

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