Andhra Pradesh is the third most popular tourist destination for domestic travellers attracting 14% of national footfalls. It reported 93.2 million domestic tourist visits in the year 2021, despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
“A.P. has emerged as the third most visited State and most visited for religious tourism in the country and offers a lot of promise for investors in this sector,” said Rajat Bhargava, Special Chief Secretary, Tourism, in a conversation with The Hindu ahead of the Global Investment Summit on March 3 and 4 in Visakhapatnam.
The State government aimed to develop luxury resorts and hotels at prominent tourist destinations, to position the State as a premier tourist destination, and to aid in the development of these regions, he said.
“We plan to attract the best promoters and investors to boost the tourism sector through attractive incentives and investor-friendly terms, and develop robust infrastructure,” he adds.
The tourism policy of the State government had been brought to attract global investments. For instance, it provided for reimbursement of 100% of net SGST for all new units for a period of five years or up to realisation of 100% fixed capital investment, whichever is earlier, 100% waiver of land use conversion charges, reimbursement of 100% of stamp duty and fixed cost power reimbursement to new tourism units at ₹1 per unit for a period of five years.
“There are many compelling reasons to invest in the Andhra Pradesh tourism sector, which include robust demand, priority sector, ease of doing business, attractive incentives, best ever land allotment terms, encumbrance-free land available at all prominent, marquee and exclusive locations, facilitation for all the required approvals and licences through single desk, long lease tenure and option for deferment of annual lease during construction period, and marketing and promotion support through channels of AP Tourism,” he explained.
Projects in the pipeline
“The government has proposed tourism infrastructure development projects worth ₹200 crore to be completed on a priority basis. Projects worth more than ₹2,868 crores have been approved in the private sector, which have the potential to generate employment to more than 48,000 people,” he said.
Notable infrastructure development works in progress were: EcoResorts at Lambasingi, Maredumilli and Jagithpalli, Tribal Haat and Drive-in at Araku, Ropeway at Gandikota, MICE Centre at Kovvuru, Sky Walk at Gandikota, new resorts at Araku, Chintapalli Bhupatipalem and Perupalem, he added.