Andhra’s bifurcation in 2014 left it with fewer star category hotels and only six five star hotels but that is changing fast as the state is expected to have 15,000 hotel rooms by 2020. Besides, the Andhra CM has given his tourism executives a target of 100,000 hotel rooms by 2025. The turnaround in the state’s hospitality fortune is being planned with a view to grow state’s tourism attractiveness and make it an equally appealing destination for foreign tourists as it is in the domestic sector.
According to AP Tourism & Culture Secretary Mukesh Kumar Meena, “While Andhra Pradesh ranks 3rd in the country in domestic tourist arrivals, it lags far behind when in comes to foreign tourist arrivals, the reason being that there are gaps in tourism infrastructure, like fewer hotels and other tourism related products. However, in the last three-four years we have tried to fill these gaps by facilitating a very good and pro-active tourism policy for the investors to come in.” Meena was speaking at IATO’s monthly meeting last month in Delhi.
“When the state was bifurcated we had six five star hotel properties in Andhra Pradesh. Today another seven are under construction. For another 10 hotels the land has been allocated and for another seven properties we are in the process of finalising land allocation. So in the next three years from six five star hotels today we will have 32 five star hotels,” he informed.
Andhra only had about 6900 rooms three years back. Today it’s hotel room inventory has reached 10,000 rooms. “By 2020 our Chief Minister wants us to reach the target of 15,000 hotel rooms, and I am talking about quality and star category rooms. And as we all know that the CM thinks big, he says by 2025 you should have 100,000 good quality rooms in Andhra Pradesh. That is the target which we are looking forward to and that is the way we are coming forward,” Meena said.
In the last three investor summits Andhra has received some 195 proposals from private investors for setting up tourism projects in Andhra Pradesh. Meena says that 74 of these projects have already been grounded and the target is that by 2020 they will ground all 195 projects worth 15,120 crores.
“We are pro-active. We want to make the state a happening state by utilising the existing potential and create new product in the tourism sector for the growth of state, growth of employment in the state and growth of tourism in the state. We have a very good leadership with us. We have very good officers who always welcome new initiatives. We have good policy. Andhra Pradesh is a state that should be moving very fast in the coming future,” said a confident Meena.