Andhra Pradesh is eyeing investments worth ₹20,000 crore in the tourism sector
DELHI: Andhra Pradesh is eyeing investments worth ₹20,000 crore in the tourism sector by 2029. It is undertaking multiple initiatives to position the state as a preferred destination.
“Andhra Pradesh is eyeing an investment of Rs 20,000 crore in the tourism sector by 2029,” Andhra Pradesh Principal Secretary Tourism & Culture Neerabh Kumar Prasad said. The state has set a target of ₹10,000 crore investments by 2020.
The state claims a jump in tourist footfalls from 93 million in 2014 to 122 million in 2015.
To attract more visitors, the state is working towards creating six tourist hubs – Visakhapatnam, Srisailam, Rajahmundry-Konaseema-Kakinada, Vijayawada-Amaravati, Tirupati and Ananthapuramu-Puttaparthi.
With an investment of ₹12,000 crore already tracked, development of a sturdy tourism infrastructure is what will give further fillip to the sector, he added.
Bullish on the state’s tourism potential, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology & Earth Sciences Y S Chowdary said: “I am confident that it (tourism) will emerge as one of the biggest growth engines, driving the state’s economy.” He said the state has a growth target of 15 per cent.
In a bid to match investor expectations with the state’s resoluteness of intent, the Government of Andhra Pradesh in its Andhra Pradesh Tourism Policy 2015-20 has announced an array of incentives to investors for taking up tourism infrastructure projects and services such as a fixed land rental of 2% of basic market value for investors, reduction in VAT slabs to 5% for hotels and resorts, and a 3 year tax holiday on luxury and entertainment tax among others. The state also beholds investment opportunities for tour operations and travel agencies to further augment tourist inflow to the state.
The state is also looking to unlock further value through temple tourism and creation of a Buddhist Circuit to attract both domestic and international tourists.
Blessed with a long coastline of 974 km and 35,000 sq. km of forests with tiger reserves, wildlife & bird sanctuaries, hill stations etc., Andhra Pradesh has huge tourism potential for investors’ right from setting up of aqua based theme parks, amusement parks, cruises to eco-tourism and leisure tourism. While the state intends to unlock further value from Temple tourism creation of a Buddhist Circuit is another budding avenue being pursued which is expected to attract both domestic and international tourists alike.
Presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals makes a strong pitch for medical tourism. The government has also given fillip to various rural tourism schemes with an aim to showcase the rural core competence in art, craft, handloom, textiles and the natural environment.
Among its various other plans to give an impetus to tourism in the state, the government is providing best tourism packages with option of multi-modal transportation for a tourist and is setting up an Indian Culinary Institute at Tirupati in addition to Hospitality Management Institute at Tirupati and Kakinada. To promote MICE tourism in the state, the government plans to develop Mega Convention Centres in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Vijayawada.
The government has also taken several progressive steps towards creating world class infrastructure such as further augmenting the rail and road network, adding more national highways etc. along with a 1,000 km long beach corridor.
Andhra Pradesh has very recently laid the foundation for Amaravati – its futuristic capital. Amaravati will be integrated through an extensive network of ports, roads, airports and inland waterways aimed at turning the state into a well-connected economic hub. The city is poised as an attractive hospitality investment destination and given the average inventory of branded rooms by other well-developed state capitals, Amaravati has the potential to emerge as an attractive tourist and hospitality destination in the near future.
Musafir Namah Bureau