While a lot of this credit goes to Lord Balaji in Tirupati, the tourism department has taken it up to promote other various facets of the state as well.
One of the first steps in this was initiated in Bengaluru on August 3, when the Special Chief Secretary (Tourism) of Government of Andhra Pradesh, Chandana Khan met with the Managing Director of Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation, Dr. C.D. Dyavaiah, to discuss measures to enhance tourism in both states. One of the most important moves in this direction was announced during a meeting with media and top travel trade personnel on the same day. The Tourism departments of both states have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will facilitate easier booking of train tickets and hotels to various destinations in Andhra Pradesh.
In addition there will also be 50 percent off on these bookings. According to the officials, this will be a win-win situation as it will help to increase tourist traffic in both states. The proximity between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is something that needs to be tapped into for tourism and they wanted to explore this market to attract more visitors to the state.
Another significant development that arose from these discussions was the possibility that the popular Golden Chariot would also make its way into Andhra Pradesh. The talks are still in progress for this development.
Chandana Khan, Special Chief Secretary to the Andhra Pradesh Government (Tourism & Archaeology) and Chairman & Managing Director, APTDC, commented, “Karnataka is a market with tremendous opportunity and we want to tap into this to maximize tourism in our state. The proximity to Andhra Pradesh and the multiple options of modes of travel make it an easy holiday option for people from this state. We are looking at expanding and building this market. Today, the state has much more to offer in terms of virgin locations. We are keen to promote Andhra Pradesh as the most desirable round-the-year tourist destination in India.”
Dr. C.D. Dyavaiah, Managing Director of Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation, who was also present, said that it was a positive step forward by both the states. “We are extremely happy to associate with Andhra Pradesh Government for this MoU and we are optimistic that this will be a step forward in terms of increasing tourism initiatives in both states.”
Significantly, the Andhra Pradesh government is focusing on the development of new and unexplored destinations, and generating tourists in addition to the already popular destinations such as the temple town of Tirupati and the mega-polis of Hyderabad.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism has accordingly drawn up a high-decibel campaign to attract more visitors and induce them to explore new tourist locations across the state.
Besides upgrading infrastructure, the corporation is promoting awareness about its attractive tourist locations by marketing and promotional activities within the state and at the national level.
Developing coastal areas and beach properties is integral to this plan. Very soon, APTDC will be operating as many as nine new beach properties at Baruva and Kalingapatnam (Srikakulam district), Chintapally (Vizianagaram), Kakinada (East Godavari), Perupalem (West Godavari), Ramayapatnam (Prakasam), and Tummalapenta, Maypadu and Kotta Kudur (all in Nellore).
Among the special destinations and extremely-scenic locations high on APTDC’s list are, Dindi, Horsley Hills, Bhavani Island, Suryalanka, Vikarabad, Nagarjuna Sagar and Bhadrachalam.
Major cities in Andhra Pradesh are already connected by air, and most of these also have resorts and hotels operated by APTDC under the brand name ‘Haritha.’
The APTDC is also planning to cater to niche groups by promoting packages that are woven around themes such as culture, art, cuisine, textiles, dance, rural, water sports and more.