Visakhapatnam: The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) is, for the first time, offering stalls free of cost to star hotels and shopping malls from the city coinciding with the Diwali festival. The move would present visitors to these stalls with big discounts and best prices for the products they opt to buy. APTDC on Monday launched a two-day ‘Ananda Deepavali’ providing five stalls to star hotels and 15 stalls to shopping malls of the city.
The state tourism department has asked them to sell food items and branded goods like clothes at a discounted price with additional offers for people who are visiting the stalls. “This is the first time in the city that we have called top shopping malls and hotels to showcase their branded items at our stalls. Major malls like CMR Grand and Kankatala Textiles are participating in the event,” APTDC regional director R. Sreeramulu Naidu said.
“There will be cultural programmes like music orchestra and folk dance organised during the two days from 6 pm. Sky lanterns and crackers will also be exhibited. Altogether, it will be a food-fun-shopping event,” he said. The APTDC has also invited people from night shelters, orphanages, SC/ST hostels and single women from Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centres to celebrate Diwali with AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Over the coming years, the department also plans to host Visakha Utsav in line with the Dubai Shopping Festival. According to highly placed sources, it is going to adopt a strategic approach to promote tourism in the city and soon a pilot project for the same will be launched.