Tourism bags Biggest investment as 117 entrepreneurs signed MoUs worth ₹22,096 crore : RK Roja

Staff Reporter

Visakhapatnam: Global investors proposing to promote tourism projects literally queued to sign memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the AP government on the concluding day of the Global Investors Summit (GIS) in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.

By noon of the day, 117 entrepreneurs signed MoUs worth ₹22,096 crore, which exceeded the targeted ₹20,000 crore of investment. AP tourism minister R.K. Roja and APTDC’s chairman Varaprasad Reddy and MD Kanna Babu were present on the occasion.

“The response has been overwhelming. I am sure AP, particularly Visakhapatnam, will become the tourist hub of south India,” Roja said talking to this correspondent soon after signing of the MoUs. She asserted that all projects will be put on fast track and cleared through a single window system as per Tourism Policy 2020-2025.

Tourism MD Kanna Babu pointed out that tourism sector has signed the highest number of MoUs during the GIS. A variety of projects are expected to come up in sectors including wellness and beach resorts; hotels, adventure, water and sky sports; and racing courses, which will be spread all over the state.

Significant among the MoUs are one with Oberoi Group for development of luxury villa resorts at Bheemili near Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Gandikota, Horsley Hills and Pichukalanka.

Taj Group will build luxury resorts worth ₹700 crore in Visakhapatnam and a UK-based entrepreneur Pavan Reddy will construct a five-star hotel at Adoni with an investment of ₹100 crore.

An interesting project is FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) grade 3 racing track, which will be developed by Hayak Racing promoted by 31-year-old Ranbir Sarkar of Hyderabad. Sarkar told Deccan Chronicle that he would be spending ₹700 crore on the project, which is likely on outskirts of Vizianagaram close to Bhogapuram International Airport.

Among the other important projects are: Tunnel Aquarium costing ₹100 crore signed by NRI T.S.N. Raju and his Turkish partner Safak Guzin with AP government; world class 18-hole Golf Course by River Bay Group; Sea Plane project by Turbo Aviation Ltd.; Ocean Swimming Pool and Club by Swarnamukhi promoted by O. Vinay Kumar Reddy; Sky Restaurant and Sky Diving by Aerophile of France in tie up with Darga Nagi Reddy; Caravan Tourism by a local travel operators consortium, and Eye of Vizag (mega wheel) project signed by US-based NRI Hari Damera and his Russian partner Vladimir Gnezdilova with government.

Incidentally, the Sky Tower project signed between Switzerland’s Gerard Slenders, his partner Hari Damera and state government has been pending since last six years.

Further, local entrepreneur Jasti Asha of Sun Group has signed an MoU to develop a tourism university.

Tourism takeaways:

- GIS may turn Vizag into tourist hub of south India

- Sky Tower, Giant Wheel, Racing Track projects signed

- Vizag may get tourism university

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