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AP bets big on beach tourism

The major investment proposals include Rs.2,500 crore by Ivory Sands, which specialises in service apartments and hotels, and Rs. 240 crore by Intel Globe, an air transport firm.

Spelling out plans to transform Sunrise Andhra Pradesh into a popular tourism destination, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that the government would promote beach tourism along the 974-km coastline from Itchapuram to Tada in a big way.

Speaking during a session on tourism development on the concluding day of the three-day CII Partnership Summit, he said investors should grab the opportunity to develop projects to promote beach tourism in Visakhapatnam, canal tourism in Vijayawada-Amaravati, and temple tourism in Tirupati-Tirumala regions. During the three-day summit, a total of 27 MoUs were signed under the tourism sector with investment proposals of Rs. 5,200 crore.

Major proposals
The major investment proposals include Rs.2,500 crore by Ivory Sands, which specialises in service apartments and hotels, and Rs. 240 crore by Intel Globe, an air transport firm.

Most of the proposals received are for promoting leisure tourism, water sports, resorts, and wellness centres. Mr. Naidu said that Visakhapatnam had sun-kissed beaches and green-capped hillocks, and the people of the city, the largest in Navya Andhra Pradesh, were also very hospitable with a robust industrial base and two ports.

He said that the city could be transformed into a heaven for beach tourism. Inland waterways was another area that had plenty of opportunities for investment, he said. Union Minister for Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapati Raju said three new airport projects were coming up in the State — international airport at Bhogapuram near Visakhapatnam, another at Nellore, and the third at Kurnool. Lauding Mr. Naidu for his proactive approach, Chairman of Zee and ESSEL Group Subhash Chandra said tourism was a huge revenue-earner and job creator, and the Chief Minister had the vision to explore the vast scope by inviting private investors. He said, to give a push to the sector, there should be a re-look at high dose of taxation. Leela Venture Limited CMD Vivek Nair said beach tourism should be given a fillip by relaxing CRZ restrictions.

As luxury tourism would entail huge investments, the State should first concentrate on promoting other forms of tourism.


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