Published on : Tuesday, July 21, 2020
From 1st Aug, 2020, Visakhapatnam district will reopen its tourist activities after experiencing a gap of four months lockdown.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism sector has undergone losses of more than ₹12 crore and currently all prepared to gear up to restart the industry in a cautious way. Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, the Tourism Minister of Andhra Pradesh, has recently declared that visitors would be allowed to explore the state’s tourist hotspots from 1st August and urged the officials to complete all pending works in the coming two weeks.
Now, officials are planning out to implement stringent social distancing protocol at all tourist places in the district.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) Divisional Manager, T.G. Prasada Reddy have explained that all APTDC hotels and restaurants have been reopened as per the instructions from the Central government from June 8th onward.
“With Mr. Srinivasa Rao’s announcement, we are preparing to open all destinations under our circle,” he said, emphasizing that from August 1st, Rushikonda and other beaches which were barricaded, will be opened for public. Also, tourist places under APTDC, including Borra Caves, parks, and waterfalls, will be opened.
Mr. Prasada Reddy mentioned that all hotels and restaurants in the region are adhering to a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the government. The APTDC will also firmly execute COVID-19 protocols at the tourist spots too.
Authorities in Borra Caves have decided to permit not more than 300 tourists in an hour. Previously, in an hour, almost 1,000 tourists used to visit Borra Caves.
“While buying tickets, we will issue a time slot for their visit and we will also provide disposable gloves. Wearing a face mask will be mandatory. Apart from providing sanitisers, we will also conduct temperature checks before allowing the visitors entry. We will also encourage cashless transactions at the tourist spots,” Mr. Prasada Reddy told The Hindu.
In the meantime, at the beaches of this region, boating operations will also be resumed. “We have a strict SOP issued by the State Government and the activities will be monitored by the Boating Control Rooms. Social distancing will be implemented on the boats too,” he said.
Besides the tourist destinations that come under APTDC, there are other tourist attractions like Kailasagiri, Visakha Museum, Thotlakonda, VMRDA Central Park, NTR VMRDA Park, Tenneti Park and others, which are under the purview of the Visakhapatnam Metro Region Development Authority (VMRDA).
VMRDA Commissioner P. Koteswara Rao stated that after receiving guidelines from the State Government, they will reopen the facilities.