“AP Tourism brings you truly customised holiday planning”

Mr Sabyasachi Ghosh, Commissioner, Department of Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh is in conversation with INDIA EMPIRE

Sabyasachi Ghosh, IAS, Commissioner, Department of Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh attracts the largest number of tourists in India. Clearly it is a result of tourism promotion backed by tourism infrastructure. As someone who has worked with A.P. Tourism for a long time, please share your thoughts on this. 
The Department of Tourism is actively implementing projects for creation of tourism facilities and infrastructure development. The district of Kadapa, Nellore and Chittoor have been sanctioned projects for elevating them to the status of Mega Tourism Destinations and Circuits in the country. Promotion of Tourism is also being done actively. The Department is also taking steps to attract investment in the tourism sector. Projects under the PPP mode are under active consideration and some under implementation. 

Tourism as a sector has immense employment generation potential. It is necessary on our art to actively encourage the tourism sector. 

The Department of Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh, has taken up the Dynamic LED lighting system at Charminar and Salarjung Museum. It was inaugurated at both places on June 14, 2011 by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The illumination system completed at the AP Legislative Assembly will be inaugurated shortly. 

The following places in Guntur District in AP will be developed as a circuit at a cost of Rs 260.26 lakh namely Mangalagiri, Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary, Undavalli Caves, Pedakakani Temple, Kondaveedu Fort, and Veerulagudi Palnadu Battle Field at Karampudi. 

Integrated Development of six identified tourist facilities in Adilabad district will be taken up at a cost of Rs.6.26 crore at Shamgarh Fort, Bathisgarh Fort, Kuntala Waterfalls, Pochera Waterfalls, Kadam Reservoir and Dharam Sagar. 

The Thummalapenta Sea Coast will be developed as a tourist centre at Kavali in SPS Nellore District. 

Please give us an overview of your customized holiday package tours. 
AP Tourism brings you truly customised holiday planning depending on where you want to go, when you want to go and what you want to do. Based on your specifications, AP Tourism will plan the following for your: 
Accommodation: Depending on the budget, you have a wide variety of hotels to choose from. On offer are those ranging from super luxurious to moderately priced ones. 
Transport: If you have any elderly member travelling with you, take a taxi. Quite different from what others would use then. Choices are many and you get to decide. 
Sightseeing: If your idea of sightseeing is different from others, just name it and before you know you'll be there. 
Escort: Do you know the place too well? Not really? You need a guide. For here you'll get an escort to take you around. 
Shopping: Need some help with shopping? Some bargaining tips or information about shops with the best deals? This is where you'll get what you want. 
Cuisine: If you're choosy about food, not everything appeals to you. Now, you can get some expert advice on what to eat, where to eat, what's best. And what to skip? 

Tourists can click ‘ to provide their information for Customised Holiday Plan by APTDC. 

Medical and Wellness Tourism forms one of your unique packages. Kindly elaborate on this. 
Medical tourism is a growing sector in the country. India’s medical tourism sector is expected to experience an annual growth rate of 30%, making it a Rs 9,500-crore industry by 2015. Estimates of the value of medical tourism to India go as high as $2 billion a year by 2012. As medical treatment costs in the developed world balloon – with the United States leading the way – more and more Westerners are finding the prospect of international travel for medical care increasingly appealing. An estimated 150,000 of these travel to India for low-priced healthcare procedures every year. 

Advantages for medical tourists include reduced costs, the availability of latest medical technologies and a growing compliance on international quality standards, as well as the fact that foreigners are less likely to face a language barrier in India. The Indian government is taking steps to address infrastructure issues that hinder the country's growth in medical tourism. 

There is also a film tourism cell being envisaged by the A.P. Government. What exactly are the plans on this front? 
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has taken up an innovative tourism activity in the area of Film Tourism as the State of Andhra Pradesh has a rich variety of locations which can become attractive for outdoor film shooting. In addition Hyderabad has got a number of film studios which provide latest facilities. Hyderabad has also got state of the art post production facilities in the form of animation studios, dubbing labs etc., The Government will promote Film Tourism by creating a single window cell which will perform the following two functions: 
(a) Promote various destinations and facilities of the State suitable for film making before film producers throughout the country. 
(b) Organise a package of services to film units on payment basis which will include all permissions and clearances, accommodation, transport, catering, security etc. 

In order to make Hyderabad the number one business tourism destination in South India, what steps are being taken by the A.P. Government? 
South Indian tourism destinations are being promoted under business tourism for MICE and medical tourism areas vigorously to promote the product of India to other counters as well as within in India. 

Please let us know more about the Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau – India (HCVB)? 
The Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau-India at Hyderabad, the Convention Capital of India, is set up as a non-profit body to provide free assistance to national associations/institutions/organizations to bid for regional/international conferences in favour of Hyderabad. The primary objective is to further tourism to the city of Hyderabad. A unique brand identity to the city will enhance and promote Hyderabad to convention and non convention tourists both within the country and abroad. 

Hyderabad has much to offer as a transit destination and is proud of the warmth and friendliness of its people and its heritage. This is a land of diversity. As a convention bureau, we would welcome meeting planners and organizers to Hyderabad and we will provide unmatched support to make your conferences truly memorable. 

A not-for-profit organization that will promote and market the city of Hyderabad aiming to make it a chosen destination for conferences and conventions at global and national level. The New York Times has featured the city of pearls in its list of 41 places to go in 2011. “Dynastic grandeur in the heart of modern India", is how the western daily describes the Nizam's land, which shares the must-visit tag with other fascinating holiday destinations. 

Hyderabad also called as “Science Capital “with reputed universities, research institutes and laboratories like Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) Defense Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology , National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), University of Hyderabad (UOH), International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Nalsar University of Law (NUL) etc to name a few. 

For more details on HCVB you may browse

What are the investment opportunities in tourism in Andhra Pradesh available to overseas Indians? 
The investment opportunities for Indians and NRIs are the same. NRIs can invest in the tourism projects under PPP mode while establishing hotels, resorts, heritage hotels, wellness centres, amusement parks, entertainment centres, permanent exhibition complexes, rope ways, wayside amenities, eco tourism centres, rural tourism project, adventure tourism projects for which the will be give incentives in the shape of investment subsidy, VAT and power rebate and luxury tax etc.

January 2012

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