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Vizag in spotlight as ADTOI Convention comes to the city

December 08
11:39 2017

In order to promote Visakhapatnam (Vizag) as a tourist destination, the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) recently organised its 8th Annual Convention at hotel Novotel in the city.

“We expect the tourism arrivals in the state will increase further and contribute to theeconomy of Andhra Pradesh which will create employment. Even for the government maximum revenue is coming from tourism sector not from agriculture or other sectors,” said Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh, N.Chandrababu Naidu during his inaugural speech.

While speaking on the tourism potential of the state, he said, “If you compare to other states, Andhra Pradesh has so much of advantages. We have a coastline of about 1000 km, beautiful beaches and museums also. This is the third cleanest city of India. Safety is the main concern for every travellers and Vizag is the safest city, you can go anywhere even at midnight.”

According to the Chief Minister,Araku Valley is a beautiful place one needs to explore, while in Vizag. He said that the tourist destination has a good infrastructure in terms of connectivity and the airport in the Vizag is constantly improving to handle more flights.

Naidu said, “Now we are focusing on hotels in a big way. Taxeson hotels should bereduced so that we can promote Vizag aggressively. Tourism worldwide is increasing and even India is a major outbound market. If we create world class tourist destinations in the country, many of the Indians who prefer international destinations will instead travel to domestic destinations. Our aim is to double tourist arrivals in the state.”

BhumaAkhilaPriya Reddy, Minister for Tourism and Culture emphasized on the infrastructure issues. She said, “We wish to make Andhra Pradesh as a most visited destination in the future by not only aggressive promotional activities but also by improving existing infrastructure. Tourism infrastructure is the major challenge for us.”

“We as a progressive state are approaching investors to participate in the creation of infrastructure facilities. Our aim is to make tourist visit more comfortable and memorable”, she added.

“We are not only focusing on leisure tourism but also on Buddhist, sports, rural, adventure and tribal tourism segments.For adventure tourism, we are planning to open an adventure sports academy atGandikota, Kadapa.A tourism calendar has been prepared to hold 24 mega events during the year.”

The Tourism Minister shared that the State Government proposes to allot 240 acre site in Madhurawada in Visakhapatnam to be developed as a resort and theme park on the lines of Genting Highlands in Malaysia. The other major projects are development of Bhavani Islands, village tourism, development of 39 beach locations, jetties near ports as tourist spots.

According to P P Khanna, President, ADTOI, India faces a lot of challenges in development of tourism, which need to be addressed. However, some states are seeing a good growth in the tourism sector.

“We are lacking a large convention centre in our country that will help us to attract big MICE events. Indian weddings are being organized in places like Dubai, Malaysia but we need to promote Indian destinations for the wedding market,” said Khanna.

“Andhra Pradesh has Buddhist circuit and tribal areas which needs to be promoted. We should bring these products on the tourist map. Attire, cuisine and way of living of tribals will attract many tourists.Apart from this, Andhra Pradesh has other tourist products like forts and palaces,” said Khanna.

The ADTOI President requested the Chief Ministerand other bureaucrats from the state tourism tolook into existing GST rates which are high when compared to the other countries.

Rajat Sawhney, Vice President, ADTOI, said, “Vizag is a port city with a rich culture and heritage. Andhra Pradesh is the 3rd visited state in India with the footfall of 152 million domestic tourists. The majority tourists visit the state for religious reasons.”

Sawhney suggested that the other segments should also be tapped by developing safe beaches and promotional activities. “Andhra Pradesh is also rich in cuisineand food festivals should be organized in the state regularly,” he concluded.

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Nitisha Dubey

Nitisha Dubey

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