Thanks to the soaring heat and rising Covid-19 cases, tourism footfall in Araku Valley and Lambasingi among other tourism spots in Visakhapatnam Agency has witnessed the lowest footfalls. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Andhra Pradesh Tourism and Development Corporation (APTDC) Divisional Manager, TG Prasad Reddy said usually the tourist season beings sometimes towards March-end. But March has been a dull month this year yielding a revenue of approximately Rs 1.5 crore. “Mid-April being the peak season, we are receiving booking and enquiries for mid-April which is the peak season,” Prasad Reddy said.
Reddy said the ongoing West Bengal elections is one of the reasons for low footfall. “Huge tourists from Kolkata visit Vizag, Araku, Paderu and Lambasinghi are from Kolkata, he explained. In Rushikonda Beach, the demand for water sports have not taken a single hit last month. APTDC water sports in Rushikonda attracted more than 3000 participants in March. However, participants for outdoor groups and individual activities in Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary are quite less, owing to the pandemic.
“Now, demand for the scuba diving increasing in the city post lockdown. After the mishap on River Godavari and the lockdown, it is nice to see people opening up to the idea of scuba diving, Balaram Naidu, founder of Livein Adventures. In March, only 4000 customers came for water sports such as scuba diving and river rafting, he said. Since then, there has been a dip in water sports ever since the Covid-19 cases started increasing, Balaram added. The government’s decision to extend the current academic year (2020-21) till April 30 might also have had an impact on the tourism activities in the district, officials said.