Tourism biz back on tracks in Andhra Pradesh
- Horsley Hills earned Rs 1.24 crore after lifting of lockdown
- APTDC awaiting TTD's nod for resuming pilgrim package tours
Tirupati: Tourism gets a major impetus post Covid-19 pandemic in the district with the famous hill resort of AP -- Horsley Hills, which is known as Andhra's Ooty, is back in business. People who have been confined to their houses for the last eight months have now started coming to enjoy the serene beauty of nature.
This has been fetching the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) sizeable revenues though not on par with the previous year during the corresponding period. Tirupati division is considered as the major source of revenue for APTDC along with Visakhapatnam. Horsley Hills has been the big revenue earner with around Rs 50 lakh per month along with average annual income of Rs 2.5 crore from tourist packages and another Rs.1.5 crore from its seven hotels located at various places. All these activities had to be closed following lockdown restrictions which had led to a major adverse impact on the finances of APTDC. However, from June 8, the activities were resumed gradually except the pilgrim package tours.
During April to October, Horsley Hills has accrued almost 44 per cent of the revenue which earned during the same period in the previous year. In 2020, it has earned Rs 1.24 crore as against Rs 2.81 crore during the previous year.
The APTDC restaurant at Tirumala is fetching about Rs 1 lakh per day now. Other hotels at Srikalahasti, Puligundu, Kailasanatha Kona, Palamaner, also started earning revenue for the corporation. On the whole, the division earned an amount of Rs 1.72 crore from April to October though it was much lower than the previous year's earnings of Rs 4.3 crore during the same period.
In view of the increasing visitors at Horsley Hills, APTDC divisional manager RV Suresh Kumar Reddy reviewed the arrangements there on Friday and Saturday with the staff. Speaking to The Hans India, he said that they have been looking for resuming pilgrim packages eagerly. He said that Executive Officer of TTD Dr KS Jawahar Reddy has responded positively to allot darshan tickets soon to the pilgrims coming under package tours.
As of now, except the transport wing, all operations were resumed and gathered momentum. While the corporation got Rs 2.52 crore from transport during April-October 2019, this year the revenue was zero due to Covid pandemic.
However, they could have balanced it to some extent by supplying food to Covid patients in government hospitals. Initially, they supplied it for about 1400 patients daily which has come down to around 400-500 now with the decrease in Covid patients.
This component has contributed around Rs 1 crore net profit as they undertook only preparing food and packing while TTD had provided all the ingredients. The DVM said that they can start pilgrim package tours within one week of getting approval from TTD.