AP govt unveils new policy to revamp tourism in state

Andhra Pradesh govt unveils new policy to revamp tourism in state

Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy. Credit: PTI file photo.

The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday came out with a new policy to revamp the outlook and give a paradigm shift to tourism in the state, with a theme- based approach, so as to make it a premier world-class destination.

The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Policy 2020-25 aims at building a robust tourism infrastructure in tune with the ever-changing nature of tourism and promoting responsible tourism practices among all stakeholders.

The state Cabinet, at its meeting here on Friday, approved the new policy, which seeks to attract huge private investments through a slew of incentives.

Prime among the government's plans under the new policy is to develop high-end five and seven-star luxury resorts and hotels at prominent tourist destinations in the state.

Gandikota in Kadapa, which is earning fame as the Grand Canyon of India, will have the first such facility soon as Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is keen on developing it in his home district.

Besides, 13 other locations have been identified across the state, including the famous Horsley Hills, Nagarjuna Sagar, Rushikonda (Visakhapatnam), Tirupati and also Polavaram, for construction of five and seven-star hotels and resorts.

"Theme-based tourism will be the USP (unique selling proposition) of our new policy with a conducive environment for co-creation of diverse tourism products and experiences. We have chosen Rural Tourism, Heritage Tourism, Buddhist Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Beach and Water Tourism, Recreation and Adventure Tourism, Religious Tourism, Cuisine Tourism, Wellness Tourism, MICE Tourism and Medical Tourism," Special Chief Secretary (Tourism and Culture) Rajat Bhargava said.

These were the state's strengths and major draws that could position it as one of the top tourist destinations.

The policy has been crafted keeping in mind the ever- changing nature of tourism, strengths and advantages of tourism in the state, the interests of large-scale and small- scale investors and all the stakeholders, Rajat Bhargava said.

He told P T I that the new policy offered industry- best incentives, attractive terms for land allotment and initiatives that would position the state as a premier world- class tourism destination with robust infrastructure.

"Our objective is to bring in the best promoters and investors to boost the state's tourism sector. It is a progressive policy that has been prepared after extensive research and stakeholder interactions and we are confident that it will bring in a paradigm shift in AP Tourism," Bhargava said.

The promotion and marketing efforts shall now be centred around being in tune with emerging ad latest trends such as digital marketing, virtual tours, augmented reality and virtual reality, user generated content, strategic partnerships, targeted and focused products and experiences.

The Special Chief Secretary said (tourism) promotion and marketing efforts would now be centred on emerging and latest trends like digital marketing, virtual tours, augmented reality and virtual reality, user-generated content, strategic partnerships, targeted and focused products and experiences.

"We attempt to revamp the total outlook towards tourism development. Accordingly, we have put in place a robust tourism infrastructure development plan besides a rigorous investor hand-holding mechanism," Bhargava added.