Andhra Pradesh’s economy bets big on tourism

Amaravati, Capital City of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh, after separated from Telangana, has been depending more on the tourism sector for employment generation and to stimulate economic growth.

“The state government is taking all steps to strengthen the infrastructure for tourism development,” said Himanshu Shukla, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority and the Managing Director of AP Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC).

He was addressing the gathering at the annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), which began at Visakhapatnam on Thursday, 7th September 2018. “We have no doubt it will give a great boost to the tourism sector in the State,” he said.

He said the State had been divided into four tourism hubs – Amaravati (the new capital), Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and the picturesque Konaseema area in East Godavari district. Intensive efforts were being made to improve tourism facilities in all the four identified areas.

Konaseema Backwaters

He also said that the state could avail 195 projects worth Rs. 15,000 crore from the three successive partnership summits of the CII. Out of which, 74 projects had been dropped and the others will start very shortly. The projects are expected to be completed within the next two or three years.

There were only six five-star hotels when the Andhra Pradesh and Telengana became two separate states. Now another seven hotels are under construction. Land has been allocated and for ten more five-star hotels and Land will be allocated for another seven more hotels. In total, the state will have more than 30 five-star hotels in the next few years, by 2020 or 2021. From the present level of 10,000 quality rooms in star hotels, the State will have 15,000 hotel rooms.

“Air connectivity from Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati has improved to attract more foreign tourists. AP stands third in domestic tourist arrivals, but much more needs to be done to attract foreign tourists,” he added.