What makes Andhra a popular tourist destination is its temple tourism along with other factors such as better air connectivity.

Andhra grabs Rank 3 in attracting domestic tourists Telangana a distant 30Tirupathi (left), Kurnool (right); Image source: Andhra Pradesh Tourism
news Tourism Thursday, May 04, 2017 - 18:20

Spearheaded by temple tourism and aided by other factors such as increased air connectivity, Andhra Pradesh ranks third in the country in attracting domestic tourists. It’s neighbour Telangana, in contrast, stands at a distant 30th position.

These figures were tabled in the Rajya Sabha, The Times of India reported.

Between 2013-2015, Andhra saw a 20% increase in domestic tourist arrivals and an impressive 71% rise in influx of foreign tourists.

In comparison, Telangana has put up an abysmal show. Not only did the state have a mere 1% rise in domestic tourists visiting the state, it also saw a 19% decrease in the arrival of foreign tourists.

The TOI report states that Andhra’s rise as a popular destination for tourists can be attributed to its temple tourism, better air connectivity and the state being a host to several national and international events.

Laxminarayana, consultant (tourism) in the Andhra government, told TOI that apart from temples, heritage sites in the state are also crowd pullers.

"While the Tirumala temple continues to attract chunk of tourists from across the country, Visakhapatnam and its surrounding areas are also gaining popularity among tourists from West Bengal and Odisha. This is due to reasonable packages offered in their leave travel allowances for destinations in AP,” he said.

The AP government is also looking for newer ways, including tying up with other organisations, to attract more tourists to the state.

The Hindu reported that the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is collaborating with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). While the KSRTC will look into the transportation aspect of pilgrims, the APTDC will take care of their food, lodging and darshan.

The report added that the APTDC and OLA will also be promoting each other.

AP has also been looking at tourism as a major sector for investment.

In 2015, various companies signed MoUs with the state government to invest Rs 3,745 crore in the state in tourism sector.

According to some officials, it is the lack of awareness about tourism destinations in Telangana that has led to such a dip in the number of tourists it has been receiving.

The TOI stated that the Telangana government is now putting its best foot forward in an attempt to increase the tourist turn out in the state. They are reportedly planning an eco-tourism circuit at seven locations in the state.

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