By Tricitynews Reporter
Chandigarh 12th October:- The sunrise state of Andhra Pradesh, which is blessed with some of the most spectacular tourist destinations in the country, has registered 20% growth in tourist arrivals in the first 8 months of 2016 over the corresponding period last year. The state which has some of the most pristine beaches, hill stations, temples, backwaters etc. have recorded 9.78 Cr tourist footfalls till August in this year.
The figures reflect a massive increase in foreign tourist arrivals; till August as many as 2. 32 lakh foreigners visited the state which is a whopping growth of 122% compared to the corresponding data last year. Anantapur district which houses the famous Puttaparthi and Lord Veerbhadra temple at Lepakshi, became the most visited destination by foreign tourists. Majority of the foreign tourists were from the South – East Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Middle East countries such as Dubai among others.
Andhra Pradesh also registered domestic footfalls of 9.76 Cr during the period as against 8.14 Cr in the last year, which is an increase of 20%. The state has witnessed a lot of traction from tourists who came for business, education and pilgrimage.
Under the visionary leadership of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the government has embarked upon a drive to create an ecosystem in the state which nurtures and sustains tourism. Special emphasis has been laid upon enhancing the tourist amenities which boosts the comfort and convenience of visitors.
Dr. Srikant Nagulapalli, I.A.S., Secretary to Government, Tourism & Culture, said that the tourist arrivals in to the state is very encouraging and will motivate us to work harder to progress towards our endeavor of creating a tourism friendly environment in the state. Our focus on fast tracking projects will eventually enhance infrastructure and engagement at tourist sites.
Dr. R P Khajuria Commissioner Tourism said that in 2015 we had registered 30% growth over 2014 reaching 122 million tourist footfalls. And this year we have already reached 98 million when our main tourist season is yet to begin. We are confident that we will reach 150 million this year. In coming months we are organizing mega festivals such as Visakaha Utsav, Leapakshi festival, Araku festival and Flamingoo festival which will attract large number of tourists from far and wide. We have introduced lots of water sports activities in Vizag beaches as well in Bhavani Island in Vijaywada which have become major tourist attractions already.