Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh government is set to make tourism more investor-friendly policy by making certain changes to the 2015-20 policy announced two years ago. The new policy intends to make execution of projects speedy and attractive for investors. Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Culture Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya Reddy has shared the vision of the government with investors at the Regional Tourism Investors and Stakeholders Meet organised by the AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry Federation last month.
The youngest minister in N. Chandrababu Naidu’s team, Akhilapriya said the improved tourism policy would address issues related to land allocation and its high cost, lease rents, incentives for smooth and speedy implementation of tourism infrastructure development projects in all the 13 districts in the state.
As part of the new policy on tourism, regional meetings are planned to understand the perspective of the stakeholders on tourism policy and explain to them huge potential in beach, rural, pilgrim, medical, adventure, eco-tourism and inland waterways and island tourism. “AP has it all with a second largest coastline after Gujarat,” Akhilapriya says.
Akhilapriya disclosed that the State Government proposes to allot 240 acre site in Madhurawada in Visakhapatnam to be developed as a resort and theme park on the lines of Genting Highlands in Malaysia. The other major projects are development of Bhavani Islands, village tourism, development of 39 beach locations, jetties near ports as tourist spots. “Action plans will be prepared for smooth passage from MoU stage to execution of projects,” she said.
To boost beach tourism in AP, Ms. Akhilapriya met the Union Tourism Minister last month to take the Bill for relaxing coastal zone regulations forward. She also requested the Centre to set up headquarters of Tourism Finance Corporation for South India at Vijayawada to finance tourism projects exclusively.
The state has planned 24 mega events to create buzz about AP tourism, culture, crafts within and outside AP. The Minister, who led a delegation of senior officials, also held one-to-one interactions to discuss concrete proposals on various tourism projects.
45 MoUs In 2 Years
The Tourism department has entered into 45 MoUs worth ₹10,300 crore and more than half of them were grounded in the last two years. Under Ease of Doing Business, Tourism department is made a part of single-window system for processing proposals faster along with the Industry Department. The State is third in the country with 15 crore domestic tourist footfalls and is growing at 15 percent. This requires massive expansion of hotel rooms, resorts, wayside amenities and skilled personnel.
Huge industrial investments flowing into the state from Japan, Singapore, US, would also open up tourism potential.
As home to most enchanting places like Araku Valley, Papikondalu, Konaseema, Pulicat lake, the state has immense tourism potential. The proposed 1,000-km road along the beach would open up the beach-front tourism.
Allagadda MLA Bhuma Akhilapriya Reddy Is The Youngest Minister And Holds An MBA Degree
Tourism Minister, Allagadda MLA Bhuma Akhilapriya Reddy (26) is the youngest in the AP cabinet.
Ms. Akhilapriya, daughter of Bhuma Nagi Reddy and Bhuma Shobha Nagi Reddy, has a Masters degree in Business Administration. She plunged into active politics after her mother died in an accident during 2014 and became a minister after her father died of a heart attack in 2016.