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APTDC upbeat on temple tourism

Charts out a plan to develop tourism activities at 5 temples with a budget of Rs250 cr

APTDC upbeat on temple tourism

APTDC upbeat on temple tourism

Apart from the historic Lepakshi temple, APTDC is hopeful that Gandikota – the Grand Canyon of India – may also get UNESCO world heritage site tag

Visakhapatnam: As tourism sector is recovering from the Covid-19 crisis, Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has big plans to develop tourist destinations of the State. It is specifically concentrating on temple tourism with the help of funds from Government of India and the State government.

"We are working together with the Centre to establish AP as a hub of tourism. We are planning to develop tourism activities at five temples – Srisailam temple, Srikalahasti temple, Dwaraka tirumala, Annavaram temple and Simhachalam temple – with a budget of Rs50 crore on each," APTDC Chairman Arimanda Varaprasad Reddy told Bizz Buzz in an exclusive interview.

"Under the guidance of visionary Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Tourism Minister RK Roja, we can do wonders in the State tourism sector. Union Minister of Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy also expressed to give helping hand to develop AP as a global tourist destination. With this, the tourism sector in the State is going to be more interesting," he said.

The APTDC Chairman revealed several initiatives to attract the global tourists to the State. He aims to bring passenger cruise tourism to Visakhapatnam. He says, "Once the cruise ships are landed on the shores of Vizag, thousands of foreign visitors will come here and it will open up huge business opportunities to the people in the city of destiny."

The Union Government proposes the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to include the historic Lepakshi temple structure as a world heritage site. Apart from that, the APTDC is hopeful that Gandikota – the Grand Canyon of India – may also get recognised with the UNESCO world heritage site tag.

Agri-tourism was identified as an important sector by the APTDC. It has received expression of interest (EoI) to develop 80 land pieces. Based on the EoIs, the AP government has kept 900 acres of land for their investments. The APTDC further plans to initiate adventure water sports and adventure land sports at 13 places each across the State, Vara Prasad Reddy informed.

He says that the AP Tourism Policy for 2020-25 is unique and attractive to the investors. The investor-friendly policy offers land and other incentives to the hotels and tour operators. The lease period of the property or land is increased from 66 years to 99 years, while the stamp duty is decreased from two per cent to one per cent.

Vizag to be a multi

tourism hub

Apart from becoming the capital of AP, Visakhapatnam is going to be developed as a multi tourism hub. APTDC Chairman says that the city of destiny will soon be recognised as a major centre for temple tourism, agri tourism, eco tourism, adventure tourism, medical tourism and wellness tourism.

He further said, "The Chief Minister has a long term vision for Vizag. As per his plan, many things are coming up right from the city to Bhogapuram, where the green-field airport will be constructed. The State government is in the process of developing hundreds of beach tourism projects along the coastline over the next couple of years to attract international tourists."

N Sharath Chowdary
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