The state government of Andhra Pradesh recently unveiled its much awaited tourism policy outlining its tourism development strategy for the next 5 years including key interventions and thrust areas.
Endowed with the second longest coastline in the country, a rich spiritual and cultural heritage, ancient and historical temples, serene valleys and hills, forts, national parks, bird sanctuaries, caves, etc., the state undoubtedly holds enormous tourism potential.
As per the figures obtained from the state government domestic tourist footfalls in the State increased from 93 Million in the year 2014 to 237 Million in the year 2019.
The religious destination- Tirupati is the most visited place in the State by domestic tourists, attracting over 36 million tourists annually.
“This is an aggressive tourism policy which gives freedom to investors to partner with us”
Mr Pravin Kumar
CEO AP Tourism
Therefore the new tourism policy is of much significance as it not only lays the government’s vision for the next 5 years but also looks to providing a fillip to this sector which has been most adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘This is an aggressive tourism policy which gives freedom to investors to participate and partner with us’ said Mr Pravin Kumar, CEO Andhra Pradesh Tourism authority speaking exclusively to Vizag Industrial Scan.
“Beach Shacks Dept. of Tourism shall encourage private player participation in development of beach shacks at prominent beaches in the state.”
One of the key architects of the new tourism policy Mr Pravin informs that significant emphasis has been given to mega projects and the development of high end luxury hotels and resorts.
‘Our CM is very clear that emphasis needs to be given to high end mega projects such as 7 star properties that bring scale and employment generation. We have already identified 10-12 places for 5 and 7 star properties and we want global marquee brands to participate in this’ said the CEO AP tourism authority.
“This new policy is inclusive & cares for all segments. From mega star properties to encouraging water based tourism the policy has it all. AP has become the first state to officially incorporate responsible tourism in its policy.”
Mr Tarun Kakani
Co-Convenor Tourism CII AP
The policy talks about making AP a preferred destination for Tourists while also lays thrust on the creation of necessary infrastructure for it.
From developing high end luxury resorts to promoting responsible tourism practices such as encouraging hygiene, cleanliness and sustainable environmental practices to fostering skill development in this sector.
‘The Policy has been brought about after due and comprehensive consultations with relevant industry stakeholders’ said Mr Pravin
“Special Tourism Zones
STZs to have all the necessary infrastructure for easy setting up of units”
As per NSDC, estimates the tourism sector in the state will have an incremental workforce requirement of over 1 million skilled manpower by 2022.
Under the beach & water Based tourism the draft policy talks about having beach shacks.
‘This is a significant development. Excise and licensing fee for beach shacks has been brought down to Rs 5 lakhs. This will provide a major impetus to beach shack providers’ said Mr Tarun Kakani Co-Convenor (Tourism), CII Andhra Pradesh.
“This policy offers a slew of incentives. One such is that the upset (reserve) price for bidding for lease hold model shall be 1% of the SRO value of the land parcel.”
Mr Veer Mohan
Thrust on Pvt Sector for Tourism Infrastructure
In order to create a vibrant tourism infrastructure GoAP envisages a majority of tourism infrastructure projects to be driven by private sector investment.
One of the most pressing requirements from the stakeholders in the tourism sector has been creating basic infrastructure at tourist destinations.
12 Theme based Tourism
Adventure and Recreation Tourism
Beach and Water based Tourism
‘Dept. of Tourism has identified tourist destinations that do not have basic amenities like washrooms, changing rooms, drinking water, etc. Amenity blocks shall be created at each of these destinations with provisions for washrooms, changing rooms, air-conditioned lounges, cafeteria, etc. The amenity blocks shall be constructed using funds from GoI or GoAP or multilateral organizations or shall be developed under PPP model’ said the policy.
Wayside amenities shall also be looked into wherein the Dept. of Tourism has estimated the supply gap for Wayside Amenities on major State Highways and National Highways connecting tourist locations in the state and has also identified suitable locations for setup of Wayside Amenities. These shall be taken up under PPP mode or through private investments.
A.P. Tourism Authority shall endeavour to create virtual tours and short videos for all the prominent tourist destinations in the state”
The state is also looking at positioning Andhra Pradesh as a Tourism Education Hub i.e. Developing a dedicated Tourism Universities/ institutes in line with international tourism education institutions (Eg: École hôtelière de Lausanne, Swizterland) for providing tourism education and research is necessary to formalize tourism education and skill development in the state.
Collaboration with industry stakeholders, tapping into private investments and support of foreign universities and international experts will be key to drive this initiative.