The administration of Andaman Islands inaugurated an office at Akkayyapalem on Thursday. It was inaugurated by city MP K Haribabu. Besides, facilities for ticket and cargo booking, passenger night-halt stay and guest house, provided by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust, (VPT) was also introduced.
This comes in the wake of more shipping facilities and flights set to being introduced between Visakhapatnam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to boost tourism. Currently, there is a monthly shipping service that sails to the Andaman Islands from Visakhapatnam and back in the course of 12 days. There is also a flight service from Delhi to the islands via Visakhapatnam.
“Two many ships will be introduced within a year, with a carrying capacity of 1,200 passengers and 1,500 tonnes of cargo each. The administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is also looking to launch a three-day cruise package at a subsidised rate between Visakhapatnam and the Andaman Islands that will concentration travellers, especially honeymooners,” said ML Peter, officer-in charge, shipping services, Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration.
Chetan B Sanghi, chief secretary, Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration, said, “Visitors from the Andaman Islands can come for sight-seeing, medical purposes, work-related tours and education purposes. With frequent and better association between Visakhapatnam and the Andaman Islands, tourism at both places will get a boost.”
M T Krishna Babu, chairman and managing director of VPT said that there is an opportunity for budget tourism to grow between the two places. “We are seeking for domestic cruise operations from Chennai to Port Blair via Vizag. We are also coming up with a cruise terminal at a cost of Rs 80 crore and a modern cruise jetty in the next 18 months. International luxury cruise vessels have already started to come to Visakhapatnam. In May, another vessel from Europe with 1,700 passengers is expected. Foreign tourists are interested in the eastern coast, ” he said.
“Many people from north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Visakhapatnam work in the Andaman Islands and it has a number of interesting places to visit. Visakhapatnam and the Andaman Islands can turn the gateway to all south-east Asian countries by air and sea,” he said.
Source: The Hindu