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Visakhapatnam: Blue Flag certification will help Vizag put on a global map

Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao
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Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao

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In a step to attract a large number of investors to the tourism sector, new projects will be initiated through public-private-partnerships mode, stated Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao

Visakhapatnam: In a step to attract a large number of investors to the tourism sector, new projects will be initiated through public-private-partnerships mode, stated Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao.

Hoisting the blue flag at Rushikonda Beach here on Monday, the minister said the eco-label accorded by the Foundation for Environment Education in Denmark will aid in placing Visakhapatnam on the global map.

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar participated in the ceremony through video conferencing and unfurled the blue flags virtually at eight selected beaches in the country from New Delhi.

The Tourism Minister appealed to the Union Minister to develop nine beaches across the state for Blue Flag certification, including Erra Matti Dibbalu (Red sand dunes) in Visakhapatnam, Suryalanka in Guntur, Kakinada in East Godavari and Ramapuram in Prakasam district. "Andhra Pradesh has the second largest coastline in India next to Gujarat and the Blue Flag certification aims at boosting international tourist arrivals," Srinivasa Rao said.

He mentioned that the state government had announced a New Tourism Policy – 2020-25 and developing infrastructure form a part of the primary areas. As part of tourism development, the Minister said, "We are trying to establish five or seven star hotels at 12 locations in Andhra Pradesh."

Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority CEO Praveen Kumar said the tourism sector was the most affected during the pandemic and it will take a couple of months more to return to normalcy.

District Collector V Vinay Chand, district tourism officials and others participated in the Blue Flag hoisting ceremony.

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