Come holiday season, footfalls of city residents and tourists at gateway destinations keep increasing steadily. Almost all tourism spots, especially in Visakha agency areas witnessed a huge rush. Borra Caves, Araku, Ananthagiri coffee plantations, Chaparai and Katika waterfalls, Padmapuram gardens, Paderu, Kothapalle waterfalls have been receiving heavy footfalls since the last few days.
With the Christmas hangover still continues due to the weekend, tourists’ destination in Vizag is witnessing a chock-o-block situation. Add to that, a drop in the mercury levels at Lambasingi, the most favored winter destination in the State, attracted tourists. Such was the rush that severe traffic congestion was witnessed near Lambasingi in the last two days. A number of tourists had to cancel their planned stay due to lack of accommodation as almost all the hotels have been booked.
Speaking to Hello Vizag, T.G Prasad Reddy, Divisional Manager of APTDC, Visakhapatnam region, said Borra Caves has been witnessing heavy rush since the beginning of Karthika Masam. “Borra Caves saw about 7,500 visitors on Sunday and generated revenue of 5.5 lakh. Last Sunday, as it was the last week of Karthika Masam, the caves received about 10,000 visitors. According to Mr. Reddy, all the APTDC hotels in Visakhapatnam have been booked till January 1.
According to APTDC officials, an estimated 10, 000 to 15,000 people have visited Araku Valley daily since December 21. All the hotels in Visakhapatnam and Araku are booked till December 31. The number will increase in the coming days. “A proper accommodation is under construction in Lambasinghi, tents have been set up for tourists, until then, we have set up 30 tents, Normally we have only four tents, Mr. Reddy said.
An elated Reddy said the revenue from tourism packages, hotel bookings among others in December alone is around Rs. 3 crore. “The charm in witnessing the sunset in 2020 and rise on the first day of the New Year is ethereal. The crowds of tourists come here for that experience, Reddy explained.
While Lambasinghi and Araku are registering more footfalls, currently Araku is getting more tourists and city residents compared to Lambasinghi, District Tourism Officer (DTO), Purnima said. The numbers have gone up ever since December 18 when the train services resumed, she said. She said that they have made it mandatory for tourists as well as city residents visiting tourist spots to adhere to Covid-19 norms. They will not be allowed to enter the tourist spots without wearing face masks, observing social distance.
Kailasagiri, Tenneti Park, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), Thotlakonda, Kambalakonda, local museums, and other tourist spots also registered many footfalls as the year is slowly coming to an end. Many beaches in Vizag such as Rushikonda beach, RK beach are also attracting many visitors. IGZP Curator Nandani Salaria said the zoo park received about 6,300 visitors on Sunday. Craft Bazaars at Shilparamam, Andhra University grounds also saw a huge rush.
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