Visakhapatnam: Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday said the Centre has sanctioned Rs 100 crore for the cruise terminal at Visakhapatnam Port.

He asked Visakhapatnam Port Trust Authorities and local administration to complete the cruise terminal project by next November.

Addressing a press conference after conducting a review meeting, the minister said cruise tourism was very popular all over the world and AP has the potential to develop cruise terminals at 11 ports to attract domestic and foreign travelers.

Lauding the AP government for launching tourism policy, Kishan Reddy said the state has huge potential for attracting domestic and foreign tourists. Hence he asked the state tourism minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao and officials to complete the four tourism circuits at the earliest and provide infrastructural facilities including tourism guides at all the heritage centers, temples, and other popular resorts. He said he would ask the railways to launch a full-fledged Vistadome rail to Araku as there was a huge demand.

He said the Center and state government’s coordination was essential to build the tourism sector and in this regard, a comprehensive tourism policy would be launched during the next union budget session.

Stating that tourism bore the brunt since Covid-19 struck India and it was yet to make any recovery, he said the policy will aim at reviving the tourism sector in the wake of Covid-19 and further accelerate the growth of inbound and domestic tourism.

Under the new policy, the government would also promote startups, MSMEs, and the investment tourism sector

Earlier, Kishan Reddy visited all the Buddhist shrines in Visakhapatnam.

State tourism minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, who was also present at the press briefing, said the central tourism minister gave several directions to the local officials in a review meeting on how to improvise the basic facilities at the tourist places.