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Centre working on council to promote south tourism

The council would help the southern states to actively engage in intra-regional offerings for tourists

BS Reporter  |  Hyderabad 

The Centre is working on forming a council to facilitate combined south tourism package for both domestic and international tourists. The council would help the southern states to actively engage in intra-regional offerings for tourists.

"The Union government is planning to hold consultations with the southern states to make it a reality," said Chandana Khan, special secretary, government of Andhra Pradesh, here on Friday. However, the process would take time considering the various issues at stake like road taxes and state-specific laws.

Speaking at the inauguration of a three-day business-to-business (B2B) Travel and Tourism Fair, she said, "As tourism trade is a client-specific business, we're approaching new opportunities by re-doing, modifying package offerings and better augmentation to stay competitive in the market."

According to her, Andhra Pradesh, which saw the highest domestic tourist arrivals in 2012 at 159 million, in which the share of pilgrimage tourism was approximately one-third, is considering entering into MoUs with neighbouring states to promote spots including Tirumala, Amaravati along Krishna river, heritage sites, beach resorts and 'water-walking' on Krishna and Godavari rivers.

"An MoU with Maharashtra is undergoing final works to route Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian tourists visiting Ajanta and Ellora towards the Amaravati circuit in Andhra Pradesh as both fall under the common Buddhist attractions," she said. The state is also open to such ideas with the other neighbouring states.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation today officially launched the Lord Balaji Air Darshan package from New Delhi-Tirumala-New Delhi (priced Rs 16,999) and Hyderabad-Tirumala-Hyderabad (at Rs 11,999). Under it, pilgrims can avail themselves of a two-way air travel-cum- accommodation with quick darshan. The travel partners include SpiceJet for Delhi and Jet Airways for the Hyderabad goers.

On the trade fair, the organisers said, this year the number of exhibits were up 15 per cent with 200 domestic participants as well as from nine countries. This year, Sri Lanka has been the new comer at the fair.

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First Published: Fri, July 12 2013. 20:44 IST
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