Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and all other Disney characters may soon be heading to India. The Andhra Pradesh government is reportedly on talks with a private investor regarding land and other requirements for setting up the Happiest Place on Earth - Disneyland - similar to the one in Paris.
While the talks are still in the initial stages, the state government is actively pursuing the matter, according to The Hindu. Disneyland is among the many initiatives planned by the government to tap the state's tourism potential.
Development convention centres similar to the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) have also been planned in Tirupati, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam as part of the tourism initiative. Andhra Pradesh would also be home to many theme parks and promote water sports, cruise tourism, spiritual tourism and beach tourism in an attempt to increase revenue.
Andhra Pradesh government under Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is expected to detail these initiatives in the tourism mission document, which is to be released later this year. The state government, in the mean time, has received the final draft of the tourism policy to regulate the tourism investment.
The Hindu reports that this year's policy aspires to improve the tourism sector by focusing on indirect revenue such as tax collections, as opposed to Andhra Pradeh's 2010 policy, which depended on direct revenue such as lease rentals to garner income.
"A few suggestions have been put forth in the new policy, which is aimed at lowering lease rentals but maximising government revenue through indirect revenue. This would attract investors and also help accrue revenue in the long run," an official told The Hindu.