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Coastal luxury sea cruise from Colombo to Hyderabad

THE Andhra Pradesh Tourism Ministry will soon launch a costal luxury sea cruise to Colombo the Minister of Tourism and Sugar of the Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Mrs. Geetha Reddy said.

Speaking to Daily News at the launch of Andra Pardesh Promotional Road Show and launch of holiday packages to Hyderabad in Colombo last Friday she said that discussion in this regard have been going on for the past three to four years. "However these discussions were for a ferry service. What we are proposing is a Costal luxury sea cruise," she said.

The Minister said that the Indian government has already given the initial approval for the project and few formalities are to be ironed out. She said that the present Sri Lanka government means what they say and does what it promises,".

The Minister of Tourism Andhra Pradesh hopes to hire a luxury yacht which could accommodate 540 passengers with over 225 luxury cabin and it would travel to Colombo via Vizag port, Rameswaram of India.

The journey to Colombo would take around two days and the fare would be very much cheaper than air travel," he said.

The tourism budget in India has increased with the present government investing Indian Rs. 77 crores for the industry as against 39 crores by the previous government. Government of Andhra Pradesh also owns and operates over 10 sugar factories and she said that they would explore the possibility of exporting sugar to Sri Lanka.

Shopping, pearls, silk textiles are some of the most sought out attractions in the province while it also boast of having the longest beach in the Asian region, richest temple (Thirupathi) and famous biryani cuisine.

This Andra Pradesh Promotional Road Show event was organised by Asian Adventures TMC, one of the leading inbound tour operators and destination management companies for Sri Lanka, the Maldive Islands and Dubai. Sri Lankan Airlines, Hyderabad and the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Ministry coordinated the event.

"Events of this type promote cross-cultural exploration and increase regional travel in a growing market," Asian Adventures Marketing and Business Development Director Bilal Mohamed said.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Faiz Mustapha said that they would be opening hotel school management courses to Hyderabad students. "We are also looking of student exchange programs," he said.

The Deputy Minister also said that both Andhra Pradesh Government and Sri Lankan should market both destinations in one package to the Western markets.

Mustapha said that the government will also soon introduce a Tourism Development Authority to control and manage tourism product development and sustainable development of tourism while ensuring international standards to be practiced by the industry.

SriLankan flies to Hyderabad with the total weekly frequency reaching 84 while there are 12 by Indian Airways seven weekly flights by Sahara and six by Jet Airways. This amounts to 15,000 seats per week.
(DN - 28/06/2005)

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