Tourism Department working on six marquee projects

The A.P. Tourism Department signed 56 MoUs worth ₹7,806 crore with private investors on the inaugural day of the CII Partnership Summit here on Saturday.

Speaking at the panel discussion on tourism, Mukesh Kumar Meena, Principle Secretary of A.P. Tourism, said that the focus would be on six marquee projects, which offer tremendous growth and potential for investments.

Big-ticket zones

These include the Special Tourism Zone at Madhurawada and INS Viraat aircraft carrier museum in Visakhapatnam, Havelock Bridge in Rajamahendravaram, Bhavani Island in the Krishna in Vijayawada, Kakinada Hope Island under Swadesh Darshan scheme in East Godavari district, and Gandikota Fort in Guntur district.

“The major challenge is availability of infrastructure. In terms of domestic tourism, Andhra Pradesh is number three in the country after Tamil Nadu and UP.

Till now, religious tourism has been the driving factor for the inflow of domestic tourists. Going forward, our thrust will be on creation of infrastructure, accommodation, centres of new tourism interests and projects. According to a recent survey done by HVS, there is a need for 25,000 additional room inventories by 2025 in the State. Currently, we have just 9,300 rooms,” Mr. Meena added. Of the 56 projects signed in the day, 19 were related to hotels and resorts, he added.

Speaking about the INS Viraat project, he said it would be another huge attraction in Visakhapatnam.

The Gandikota Fort will be developed as an adventure sports zone. A beach property will come up in Kakinada, he added.

“Each of these projects will be uploaded in the government website, and one officer will be assigned for each project. These will be dealt in a time-bound manner. We want to make A.P. a destination with distinct identity,” Mr. Meena said.

Later, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Minister of Tourism Bhuma Akhila Priya handed over the MoUs to the private players.

HolidayIQ founder Hari Nair said there were 700 districts and tourism remained neglected with only 10 % of the potential tapped.

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