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Experts moot involvement of stakeholders to develop tourism

A panel discussion on tourism at the first day of two-day Bizz Buzz Business Conclave has called for all-out efforts by the government

Experts moot involvement of stakeholders to develop tourism

Visakhapatnam: A panel discussion on tourism at the first day of two-day Bizz Buzz Business Conclave has called for all-out efforts by the government by actively involving the stakeholders to promote tourism in a big way in Andhra Pradesh by laying emphasis on PPP mode of investment.

The conclave is being organised jointly by The Hans India, popular English daily and Bizz Buzz, India's e-paper in association with World Trade Center, Visakhapatnam.

Speakers from the industry said tourism has started picking up after suffering huge losses during the past two years due to the pandemic and advocated promoting USP and appointment of brand ambassadors to promote various types of tourism in areas of nature, beach, temple, health, hill, tribals and adventure sports. They said the ease of doing should be further simplified to encourage investors.

Former Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao, who moderated the session, said Visakhapatnam could be promoted as a 'City of Destination for Tourism.' He opined that tourism promotion would not only create jobs to the locals but also contribute immensely in the form of revenue. He said the government has an important role to play in augmenting the infrastructure so that more tourists as per their preference could visit various places across Andhra Pradesh.

Strongly batting for branding Visakhapatnam as a 'gateway destination,' K Vijay Mohan, president, Tours & Travel Association of Andhra (TTAA), said "we need to promote Vizag as a gateway destination to Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

This strategy will help tourism grow 10-folds, especially inbound tourism. "We are in deliberations with the Government of Odisha on this and we shall shortly sign an MoU," he disclosed.

Referring the proposal to develop a Buddhist circuit, he said AP has some very important Buddhist sites, which can be promoted as part of the Buddhist circuits, "We to create infrastructure and amenities around these historically important sites to attract Buddhist from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Japan, Vietnam,

Cambodia, China and Myanmar," he said. Presently, a five-day Buddhist tourism trip is being conducted to showcase sites in Visakhapatnam, Salihundam, Ramateertham, Amravati, Nagarjunakonda and other places.

He said red sand dunes at Erra Matti Dibbalu, which is 1.7 million year old, should be declared as a heritage site by UNESCO.

K Ranga Reddy, chairman of AP & TS unit of Indian Association of Tourism Operators (IATO), said there should be consistency in tourism planning and implementation of policies. He said despite huge potential different priorities being pursued by various States have led to disparity in tourism development. He said how a government decision to award extra marks to students if they visit monuments and write about their historical importance would lead to generate interest for monument tourism among the young generation.

Hoshang Garivala, Director, Operations, India, Oakwood, said things are changing in course of time as the powers-that-be are realising the significance of tourism. He said tourism is happening everywhere as the governments are giving importance to improving Ease of Doing Business and improving the basic amenities.

Anubhav Jain, business development manager from Expedia, said there is big scope for investment in travel technology companies to benefit the end-users. B2B potential is also quite huge. He opined that Visakhapatnam should be promoted as a long-stay destination.

Bhogavalli Mallikarjuna Gupta, consultant, WTC, said of late sub-specialities are gaining popularity in tourism in areas like health, spiritual, wellness and eco-tourism. Each place should have its own USP to become a popular rendezvous for tourists.


"As part of sustainable tourism, eco tourism should be explored."

- Bhogavalli Mallikarjuna Gupta, consultant, WTC

"Files are moving fast.and infrastructure is improving. Tourism sector is also offering new opportunities for investors."

- Hoshang Garivala, Oakwood Director, Operations, India

"Vizag should have its own ambassador to promote its tourism potential."

- Anubhav Jain, BDM, Expedia

"Visakhapatnam really is a City of Destination for Tourism and the government has to play a key role to promote it in consultation with the stakeholders."

- IYR Krishna Rao, former Chief Secretary

"New trends are emerging in tourism. To cater to the needs of the travelling public, the authorities with the involvement of private partners should invest in creating infrastructure. We need to promote the Buddhist circuit to bring foreign tourists."

- K Vijay Mohan, president, TTAA

"an investor-friendly tourism policy to benefit MSME investors instead of offering sops to those who invest in hotels with an investment of over Rs.400 crore is the need of the hour."

- M Balakrishna Reddy, vice-president, South Indian Hotels & Restaurants Association

"The hospitality sector needs consistency in tourism planning and implementation. We need people-friendly tourism."

- K Ranga Reddy, chairman, AP & TS chapter of IATO

Santosh Patnaik
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