A number of projects have been approved by the AP State Government in the Cabinet meeting, which will make Visakhapatnam a Tourism Hub of the country in the years to come. Vizag will have 12 new projects, the majority of which are about the beaches which are loved by all the tourists who visit Vizag. Ten beaches at the stretch from Kailasagiri to Bhogapuram will be developed. Some of the other developments include a beach corridor, a new road from Kailasagiri-Bhogapuram, an Aeropolis at Bhogapuram airport, a Floating restaurant, Jetties at three beaches, renovation of Buddhist sites, 120m high sky tower, Tunnel aquarium, renovation of Indira Gandhi Zoological Park and luxury resorts at Annavaram village.
According to the Special Chief Secretary (Tourism and Culture) to Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Rajat Bhargava IAS, the vision of the Andhra Pradesh Government is to develop the city into a premier world-class tourist destination through luxury resorts, MICE centres, adventure parks and other tourism infrastructure.
Here are some of the upcoming projects that will turn Vizag into a major tourism hub in the country:
10 beaches to be developed:
About 10 beaches were identified along the Beach Corridor from Kailasagiri to Bhogapuram which will be developed. Beaches include Sagar Nagar, Thimmapuram, Mangamaripeta, Chepala Uppada, INS Kalinga, Erramatti Dibbalu, Bheemunipatnam, Nagarampalem Annavaram and Kancherupalem. The identified beaches will have washrooms and changing rooms, drinking water, food courts, first aid and CCTV Control Room, safe swimming zone and water treatment plant.
A new road from Kailasagiri-Bhogapuram:
Cabinet approved for construction of the road from Kailasagiri in Vizag to Bhogapuram. This route will be 19 kilometres long. Approximately six to eight-lane roads are being planned for the route. The construction planning is being taken up to develop locations aligned to tourist attractions. The corridor is blessed with exotic beaches, green hills, heritage sites and lots of leisure opportunities for development.
Vizag Aeropolis at Bhogapuram Airport:
On the lines of Delhi Aerocity, Vizag will have Aeropolis in about 400 acres near Bhogapuram Airport. This would be offset with an IT Tower, Skill University and a Robotics Centre. The Aeropolis will cater to business travellers and also be a hub for commercial activity. The development will be under PPP mode in collaboration with private players by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority. This is one of the most exciting tourism projects in Visakhapatnam as we are all awaiting the day when the new International Airport becomes operational.
The main objective of the project is to develop a green-field road (Beach Corridor) connecting the new international airport at Bhogapuram (entry point) and Bheemunipatnam (endpoint of R&B Road). This project cost is Rs 1021 crore proposed in an area of 570 acres. The project will provide alternate connectivity on the parallel road from Ranasthalam to Anandapuram which eases traffic congestion of the NH-16 section. The Beach Corridor project will be a ‘hospitality district’ with world-class accommodation facilities (beach resorts/ hotels) for visitors, amusement parks, eco-tourism, swimming pools, water sports avenues, food courts, shopping malls, fisheries along the corridor. The beach corridor will have hanging bridge/suspension bridges over the river Gosthani at 2 locations.
Jetties at three beaches:
Jetties are proposed to be developed at 3 beaches – Bheemili Beach, Annavaram Beach and Bhogapuram Beach. These jetties will protect the shorelines of the above-mentioned beaches.
The implementation of a floating restaurant, in the Bangladeshi vessel MV Maa which ran aground in last year’s cyclone to the shores of Vizag, is also being undertaken in this project. The vessel had stalled at Tenneti Park and ever since then, the place had been under the spotlight for every Vizag resident. Now, the construction of the floating restaurant has been undertaken and soon it will be a reality. The project will have Banquet Halls, 30 rooms, and a Multi-Cuisine Restaurant. With an estimated cost for the project of Rs 10.50 crores including the purchase of the ship and renovation and remodelling, the proposal has already been approved and APTDC is taking steps to acquire the ship.
Development of Buddhist sites:
Thotlakonda and Bavikonda are prominent Buddhist sites in the State and draw thousands of tourists from across the country. The project will have a meditation centre, sound and light show, museum and interpretation centre, amenities and facilities. Thotlakonda is planned to be developed as a cultural hub with adventure sports towards the seaside. This is one of the most important tourism projects as we want the Heritage of Vizag to stay forever.
120m High sky tower:
Development of 120m high Sky Tower with mini–Amusement Park at Kailasagiri under PPP mode. The project components include Sky Tower with a height of 120m (Typhoon grade) as an anchor attraction, a small amusement rides cluster, few innovative recreational attractions, a food court and party area, trackless road trains from the parking area. This will be with an estimated investment of Rs 85 crores under Tourism Policy 2020 – 2025.
Development of Tunnel Aquarium at Thotlakonda Beach is under PPP mode
The project to be developed with Rs 163 crores will have a theme of Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Shark Lab, Shipwreck Theme, Indian Rivers, Get-in-touch, Mediterranean cave, Tunnel Reef Restaurant, Green Photo facility, Souvenir shop, Food courts and Lecture Halls for training and education.
Upgradation of the Zoo:
Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP) is the third-largest zoo in terms of area in India. It is one of the major tourist destinations in the city of Vizag. It was approved to modernize and upgrade IGZP, with an estimated cost of Rs 137.60 crores. The project will have Animal Enrichment, Zoo Visitor amenities improvement, Administrative buildings, Veterinary Hospital and development around the entrance including parking.
In the Animal Rescue Centre (ARC), there will be the creation of new animal enclosures, repairs and renovation of Lion Safari, renovation of Deer Safari, the establishment of a Quarantine facility. ARC will have additional animal enclosures, landscape-level conservation. As far as eco-tourism goes, this is one of the most critical projects to maintain the natural beauty of Visakhapatnam.
Development of Bheemili:
It was approved to develop Bheemili Promenade on the lines of RK Beach. The promenade will have Breakwater structures, seating areas, amenities and utilities, beach shacks, walking paths, cycling tracks, beach furniture, kiosks and food stalls, signages, parks, sculptures, water sports and amphitheatres. Marina with jetty and passenger terminal projects will be undertaken at Bheemili Beach, to pave the way for Cruise Tourism in Visakhapatnam. Dutch Era monuments will be renovated.
Development of Luxury Resorts at Annavaram Village:
In about 200 acres of land at Annavaram Village, Bheemili Mandal, a luxury tourist destination is ready. The new project will have a luxury resort in 30 acres, a luxury resort in 35 acres, a Luxury hotel in 15 acres, a World-class convention centre in 35 acres, a mini-golf course in 25 acres, beachfront development, parking and landscaping in 60 acres.