Greater powers for Tourism Council: Srikanth
In what can be termed a major move to boost the Toursim in the State a legislation was brought out recently giving greater powers to the District Tourism and Cultural Promotion Councils to take decisions for the development of the respective regions, according to Principal Secretary (Tourism) Mr. Srikanth Nagulapalli, IAS. A total of five regions Visakhapatnam, Rajamahendravaram, Amaravati, Nellore and Anantapur —have been identified in the State for promotion as tourist hubs, based on the strengths specific to that particular region, Mr. Srikanth said.
Participating as chief guest at the inaugural of a conference on ‘Destination Vizag: a hidden paradise of the East’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Visakhapatnam last week, Mr. Srikanth said that vistadome coaches would soon be attached to the Araku train to enable tourists to watch the scenic beauty of the Araku Valley as they pass through the hills and tunnels.
There were a lot of investor-friendly investment opportunities in AP on the tourism front like: development of beaches and waterways, Buddhist heritage sites at Amaravati and Thotlakonda, spiritual tourism, recreation and adventure sports and medical tourism in Vizag.
District Collector Pravin Kumar said that with Visakhapatnam hosting almost all the major events of national and international importance in view of the connectivity and availability of infrastructure, the city has become the talk of tourists, including foreign tourists, and cricketers. The proposed Bhogapuram Airport was given the clearance of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) and land acquisition was in the final stages. He said that five more beaches would be developed in the district. A DPR has been prepared for further development of Kailasagiri into a world-class tourist place.
Commissioner of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation M. Hari Narayanan spoke on the projects being initiated under the Smart City Project.
CII AP chairman G.S. Shiv Kumar was optimistic that Vizag would find a place on the international tourist map very soon. CII AP Convener – Tourism Panel Neeraj Sarda described Vizag as a ‘hidden gem on the east coast’
Chairman CII Visakhapatnam Zone V. Murali Krishna said there was immense scope for medical tourism in Vizag.
Dr Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC group and Mr Chetan Gupta, General Secretary, ADTOI also spoke.