Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004
Industry & Economy
AP Tourism to launch five houseboats in Konaseema
Rajahmundry , July 27
AFTER testing waters on the Vaishnavi river, the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is all set to launch its fleet of five houseboats in September, offering tourists a 24-hour luxury trip in the backwaters of Konaseema.
The corporation has been operating specially designed houseboats on a 70-km stretch on the tributary of the Godavari, plush with coconut groves on its banks.
"This part of the river below Dowleswaram is rich with water most of the year thanks to the backwaters," Mr T.V.N. Rao, Director (Eco Tourism), told Business Line.
The corporation has prepared a Rs 1.4-crore plan to implement the houseboat project. While two customised boats are ready, three are under construction.
Four of them comprise two rooms each that can accommodate eight to 12 people. The other one would have a large room, keeping in mind the needs of larger groups.
Speaking on the project, Mr Rao said the tour package comprised stay at two islands - Ayodhya lanka and Shivakodi lanka. At the latter, tourists will be served dinner in the backdrop of campfire.
Mr Suryanarayana, Assistant Manager (East Godavari), said the package would go well with corporates and people from cities like Hyderabad.
"The trial runs at Pedamallam have been encouraging. We are seeing five bookings for the service," he said.
The corporation has also plans to extend the service to Papikondalu. At present, it operates a couple of launches through these exotic hill ranges. "It is feast for your eyes seeing the Godavari negotiating these picturesque hill range," he said.
The corporation owns a fleet of five boats, which included the Russian-made 60-seater Zaria and 20-seater Stern Drive.
Besides the river-based activity, APTDC is betting on a blend of cultural, religious and scenic strengths of the two Godavari (East and West) districts.
This area is home to some important Shaivite sites such as Kotipalli, Draksharamam and Biccavolu, belonging to ninth and 15th centuries.
It also houses Papikonda and Coringa wildlife sanctuaries and Kolleru Lake, Asia's largest fresh water lake.
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