World Bank keen on funding Andhra Pradesh Buddhist circuit

Economic Times, Oct 11, 2014

Andhra Pradesh, India -- Making tourism one of its key focus areas in its services sector mission, Andhra Pradesh government said here today that the World Bank is keen on funding the state's 'Buddhist circuit'.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that proposals to develop tourist circuits would be invited and the process would be made transparent.

 At a meeting with tourism officials at the Secretariat, he directed them to come up with suggestions to attract more international tourists by establishing more attractions and promote religious, eco-tourism and beach tourism.

He asked officials to promote heritage sites in the state, adding that focus should be on promoting local arts and handicrafts like Kondapalli Bommalu, Etikoppaka and Narsapuram laces.

Given the popularity of food from Andhra Pradesh, he said that it must be promoted in a big way through food festivals.

He said that Kuchipudi dance could be promoted on global and local platforms by incorporating it in every programme.

He said that the government is looking at establishing a tourism university on the lines of those in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, with world-class facilities, offering a gamut of courses.

The Chief Minister also directed officials to explore opportunities in partnering with various international tourism agencies to promote cross-border cultural exchange and tourism.

In another development, he directed the AP health department to link Aaadhar with smart cards for pregnant women in the state.

Smart cards would have details like pregnant women's hospital admission, their nutrition and medicinal course for treatment, to ensure that government scheme's benefits reach pregnant women and their infants.

He said that women could be given suggestions and precautions during pregnancy through advertisements by getting celebrities to communicate the message.