Andhra Pradesh seems to have missed a golden opportunity to showcase its iconic heritage sites like the Charminar and Qutub Shahi tombs before foreign delegates likely to attend a three-day international tourism event that will begin here from April 12, officials said. According to them, none of the 375 foreign delegates, who will attend the mega event to be sponsored by UN World Tourism Organisation, will get to visit those rare heritage sites. “Though these heritage sites hold attraction for tourists, they won’t be shown to the participants of the mega international event,” said an official. “By not including such important heritage sites in the foreign delegates’ itinerary, we have really lost a golden opportunity to popularise our state as a heritage destination worldwide”, he told this correspondent.
‘Sustainable Tourism Development’ has been chosen as the theme of the upcoming three-day conference. As per the programme, three separate conferences will be organised. One of these will be a joint meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and Pacific and the UNWTO for South Asia. Besides, the conference and the joint commission meeting are also proposed to be held. While the foreign delegates will be put up in plush hotels and shown places like Ramoji Film city, Nagarjunsagar Lake etc. the iconic heritage sites like the Charminar, Qutub Shahi Tomb, Chowmahalla Palace and the grand Salarjung Museum won’t form a part of their itinerary, regretted an official. The same goes for other prime sites like Warangal and the Araku Valley or the sites that have been selected by the government to ignite foreign tourists’ interest in the state’s tribal and village tourism. “We will provide all details soon,” was all an official said when asked why the government ch-ose not to show the foreign delegates the rare heritage sites. A close aide of the Union tourism minister, K. Chiranjeevi said the latter would soon announce the details of the propose event. He, also revealed that the Chiranjeevi, a film icon in his own right, had also produced a short film on the rich cultural heritage of Hyderabad, which would be shown to foreign delegates during the conference.