MICE-driven tourism set to get a big boost in Andhra Pradesh

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Amaravati, Feb 4 (PTI) MICE-driven tourism is set to get a big boost in Andhra Pradesh as the Tourism Department has come up with a proposal to develop three major Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Vijayawada.

The FECs will be developed under the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative at a cost of over Rs 80 crore each, officials said.

Each FEC will be a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) hub as well, mixing business with entertainment, and, thus, AP will be the first state to have three such major facilities.

While port city Visakhapatnam and temple town Tirupati are already established tourist destinations, Vijayawada, now part of the AP capital region Amaravati, is also emerging as an important hub for travellers.

An iMax screen, six-screen multiplex with a total of 2500 seats, 80,000 sq ft shopping mall, three-star hotel and a 2,000-seater convention centre will form part of each FEC.

The initial plan, envisaged by the Tourism Department in 2015, was to have only an iMax and multiplexes in each city but later the MICE component was added to make the FECs wholesome.

“The main objective is to create good entertainment spaces in all the three major cities. Government lands will be leased out to the private developer, who will create the FEC,” Tourism Secretary Mukesh Kumar Meena told PTI.

Though the influx of domestic and foreign holiday- makers to AP has been increasing every year, lack of adequate tourism infrastructure is seen as a dampner.

In 2016-17, more than 15.82 crore tourists arrived in AP, contributing a revenue of Rs 50,624 crore to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), official figures revealed.

During April-November 2017-18, more than 10.6 crore tourist arrivals were recorded and the number is expected to go up to 16.76 crore by the end of the fiscal year, with a projected GSDP contribution of over Rs 56,000 crore.

“We have lands available and now we need to build the required infrastructure so that we can attract more tourists and ensure better facilities for them,” Meena said.

SPI Cinemas, a Chennai-based company, has been chosen to develop FECs in AP.

“We currently operate two iMax screens in Chennai city besides 70 movie screens in Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Madurai and other places in the south.

“We will build one iMax each in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada andĀ Tirupati besides the multiplexes and other infrastructure,” SPI AP project head Mantri Seshagiri said.

SingaporeĀ’s architectural firm Team-3 has already designed the structures that will come up in Tirupati, while designs for the FECs in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada are under preparation.

“We hope to complete the three projects within 24 months and provide employment to close to 500 people,” said Seshagiri. PTI DBV RSY

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by BW staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.

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