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Andhra Pradesh to open tourist spots in August, will start with temple tourism in first week

Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Simhachalam

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to resume tourism activities in the state from this month. To boost the revenues, the government is also set to unveil a new tourism policy.

As per the state government’s plans, temple tourism activities for Tirupati, Simhachalam, Dwaraka and tourism packages to Tirupati, Kanipakam and Srikalahasti would resume from the first week of August.

Earlier, when the cases started increasing, all the tourist places along with the temples were ordered shut for the devotees.

With the lifting of restrictions on tourist places, some of the popular destinations such as Bhavani Island on Krishna river in Vijayawada and Kailasagiri in Visakhapatnam would also be opened for the public.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Tourism Minister, Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, said, “Projects including Kailasagiri in Visakhapatnam and Bhavani Islands on Krishna river near Vijayawada would be restored for public from August 15, which were hitherto closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Boating that was inaugurated on Krishna and Godavari rivers earlier but closed due to the pandemic, would also be operated from August 15.”

As the tourism industry is one of the badly hit areas in terms of revenue, the Tourism Ministry has decided to give all the hotels that have less occupancy for quarantine facilities on rental basis to individuals.

Stating that public-private partnership is needed along with the Central government’s intervention to boost the tourism sector, he said the state government has sought Rs 1000 crore assistance from the Centre.

The minister said that video-conferences were held with the officials concerned to get the tourism activities running in full swing. He said that star hotels would also be started next week under public-private partnership after getting a date from the Chief Minister.

Apart from a long coastline, the state is planning to capitalise on the abundance of tourist spots which are yet to be exploited fully. The rivers such as Godavari, Krishna and Penna are to be harnessed for tourism promotion while forests like Araku, Paderu and Yallamala and Horsley Hills will be developed as eco-tourism hubs in public-private partnership mode, the minister said.