VISAKHAPATNAM:The City of Destiny would soon get a fresh makeover with the state government preparing plans to develop six beaches at Yendada, Sagarnagar, Rushikonda, Thotlakonda, Mangamaripeta and Bheemili. To attract domestic and international tourists, the state government in association with private firms would develop the beaches with facilities like water sports, beach tents, beach shacks, food courts and other facilities by December this year.
In an interactive session, jointly organised by the Vizag chapter of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Tourism department in the city Tuesday, several speakers discussed the tourism potential of Andhra Pradesh and measures to be taken to develop a new destination for the international and domestic tourists. The discussion focused mainly on how to promote Vizag, viable projects and attract prospective investors. The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) in association with the CII-Andhra Pradesh chapter, has launched the Destination Tourism Promotion Bureau (DTPB) for promotion of the tourist attractions in Vizag and woo a large number of tourists.
Principal secretary for tourism and APTDC managing director Neerabh Kumar Prasad said that the government had laid out a detailed tourism development plan for the state which includes beach and water-based tourism, eco-tourism, Buddhist tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism, MICE and infrastructure development, recreation and adventure tourism, spiritual and wellness tourism and medical tourism and 42 other sub-themes. He felt that Vizag qualifies for taking up all the tourism projects comprising 42 sub-themes.
“We want to make Vizag as most preferred tourist destination and hence, promoting the city in association with the CII. But we are trying to find a unique selling proposition (USP) which would be appealing to both domestic and international tourists,” the principal secretary said. He stated that the government was planning a new scheme to woo more tourists to Tirupati by making it a marriage destination. “Under the new scheme, six members from the family including the bride and groom will have free VIP darshan at Tirumala. We are working out the modalities with tour operators,” he said. Similarly, the government is searching for a USP for marketing Simhachalam in Vizag and asked the CII members to come up with a good idea.
Taking advantage of the proposed International Fleet Review here during February next year, the state government is planning to promote Visakhapatnam as the new global tourist destination. Collector N Yuvaraj said that the existing tourism projects would be given a face-lift and beach nourishment would be taken up in view of the fleet review. Ahead of the IFR, the government was planning to commence tourist attractions like a laser show at Rushikonda beach, mega water sports projects, sea cruise from Kakinada to Bheemili and Vizag to Singapore, night safari in zoo, vista dome passenger train to Araku and development of Buddhist sites at Thotlakonda and Bavikonda, among others.
CII, AP, Tourism panel chairman Sriram Ravichander said that Andhra Pradesh had many tourist attractions but many of them are losing sheen due to lack of promotion. He emphasised the need for developing infrastructure at these tourist spots and promote tourism on a grand scale in the state.