Andhra Pradesh comes up with new plan to generate tourism revenues

Andhra Pradesh’s Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao has said that in order to generate revenues for the sector, hotels across the State will be turned into paid quarantine centres.

Addressing the media at the Secretariat, he said, “Tourism sector has suffered huge losses due to the COVID-19 crisis. So, we have decided to rent out low-occupancy tourism hotels as COVID quarantine centres.”

The private hotels are already being used as quarantine centres. “Tourism hotels in Nellore, which were used as quarantine centres, have generated a revenue of Rs 2 crore in the past few months,” said Rao, adding that revenue of tourism hotels has dropped by 75%.

He further said that tourists will be allowed to visit various destinations from the first week of August. Boating and related activities will begin from August 15. He conducted a video conference with officials of all 13 districts and directed them to keep the tourist destinations in their respective districts ready to restart operations.

“New tourism policy will come into effect soon. There are immense opportunities to invest in the tourism sector in AP,” he said adding that various theme-based tourism activities such as adventure, eco, river, beach and rural tourism will be developed as per the new policy.

“Once we get approval from Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, ten 5-star and 7-star hotels will be established in public-private partnership model,” he said

“As temple tourism is one of the prominent segments to attract tourists from across the globe, many plans have been drafted for the development of infrastructure facilities at various temples in the State. Also, the infrastructure is being changed for following COVID-19 norms,” said Rao.

Of the two temples —Tirupati and Simhachalam — recommended by the State government, Simhachalam has been selected by the Centre to develop under its Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).

The officials are in talks with the Centre to identify more temples under PRASAD scheme.