Tourism policy in for revision to attract more investors
With Chief Minister Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu’s focus on Tourism the sector is in for policy changes (2015-20) for betterment. To make it vibrant and happening the government has signed MoU’s said. State Tourism Minister Ms. B Akhila Priya Reddy.
She was addressing investors and stakeholders at a regional conference organised by AP Tourism held in Visakhapatnam last week. She said there were a few gaps to be bridged to take many of the tourism projects from the MoU stage to the execution stage. She said an action plan was being prepared to address the issues such as allotment of land to mega tourism projects (those entailing investment of more than Rs. 200 crore). We wish to make use of technology in promoting tourism. Certain critical policy changes, both at the State level and the Central level, are necessary to give a boost to the sector,” she said. She said no other sector generated so much employment as tourism sector. She promised to take up the issue of relaxing coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms to promote beach tourism.
Earlier, Mr. MK Meena,IAS Principal Secretary, Tourism, said 145 MoUs had been signed during the past two years in the sector in Andhra Pradesh, in accordance with tourism policy (2015-20), entailing investment of Rs.10,300 crore, but till now 74 projects had been grounded entailing investment of Rs. 3,500 crore. “The remaining projects are stuck in technical and financial problems and it is our endeavour through the regional conferences to clear the hurdles and get the projects going,” he said.
However, he said, the State’s performance in the tourism sector was commendable, and it stood third in the country in the footfalls of domestic tourists, after Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. “However, we have to go a long way in attracting more foreign tourists, for which better air connectivity is a pre-requisite,” he added.
He said at present there were only 8,500 good hotel rooms in the State, including those in five-star hotels, but at least 10,000 more hotel rooms would have to be added by 2025. By 2020, he said, it was expected that at least 4,000 more hotel rooms may be added.
Mr. Himanshu Sukla, Managing Director of the AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC), explained the process of allotment of lands to tourism projects. For projects entailing investment of above Rs. 200 crore, termed mega projects, and for certain special projects land would be allotted directly by the State government. For the others, below Rs. 200 crore, bidding process would be invited for land allotment.