Tourism operations will resume across the State from August, after being suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaking to the media here on Saturday, Minister for Tourism Avanti Srinivas said a new tourism policy has been drafted under the leadership of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, which will be released soon.
Tourism projects, including Kailasagiri in Visakhapatnam and Bhavani Islands near Vijayawada, would be thrown open for public from August 15, which were hitherto closed due to Covid-19 pandemic. Boating was inaugurated on Krishna and Godavari rivers earlier but closed due to the pandemic, would also be operated from August 15.
He said in order to overcome the losses in the tourism sector due to pandemic, the government would allocate all the lesser occupied tourism hostels for Quarantine Centres on a rental basis. For the development of the tourism sector, the government is planning for publicprivate partnership and for this; it is seeking the help of the Central government for which it sought Rs 1,000 crore.
This would include temple tourism for which plans have been prepared for Tirupati, Simhachalam, Dwaraka and tourism packages to Tirupati, Kanipakam and Sri Kalahasti would be resumed in August first week. The minister said videoconferences were held with officials concerned to restore the tourist packages. He said star hotels would also be started next week. “The State has dotted with many tourist spots, which need to be exploited to their full potential, including the vast coastline, which no other State has. Moreover, we have Godavari, Krishna, Penna and other rivers, which give a large scope for tourism promotion.
We have places like Araku, Paderu, Nallamala forests and Horsley Hills where ecotourism can be promoted to the hilt under public-private partnership,” the minister said. Next in the priority of the department would be sports for which Sports Development Centres have been proposed at Bapatla, Macherla, Tenali in Guntur district and Draksharamam in East Godavari district. For encouraging sports, Rs 3 crore has been set aside with Rs 5 lakh to gold medalists, Rs 3 lakh to silver medalists and Rs 2 lakh for bronze medalists in sports category. Moreover, entrepreneurs would be asked to encourage sports by improving the stadia in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur, said the minister.
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