Andhra Pradesh has decided to resume COVID-hit tourism activities from August onwards. As per the state government's plans, temple tourism plans for Tirupati, Simhachalam, Dwaraka, and tourism packages to Tirupati, Kanipakam, and Sri Kalahasti would resume from the first week of August.
The state government headed by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is all set to unveil a new tourism policy and is hoping that the sector will boost the revenues that have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Tourism Minister Avanti Srinivas said, "Projects including Kailasagiri in Visakhapatnam and Bhavani Islands on Krishna river near Vijayawada would be restored for the 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."
The minister also said that to overcome the losses in the tourism sector, the state government would give all the lesser occupied tourism hostels for quarantine facilities on a rental basis.
Stating that public-private partnership and the Central government are must step in 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 restore all the tourism packages 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 that 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 a public-private partnership mode, the minister said.