Vizianagaram: People will soon have a feel of the deep ocean when the scuba diving academy Livein Adventures launches its activities in the coastal village of Chintapalle in Vizianagaram district.

This Vizag-based firm that conducts waters sports on par with international standards with the support of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) will operate the academy from October. If all goes as per plans, Chintapalle will emerge as top scuba diving destination in Andhra Pradesh and will attract tourists from all over the globe.

As per the agreement between the APTDC and Livein Adventures, Chintapalle will have an AP Scuba Academy and beach resort to cater to the needs of the tourists. Meanwhile, the APTDC will also set up Best Bar and Restaurant at Chintapalle. It had constructed a resort with six rooms but found no takers. Now, the structure requires some repairs before it can accommodate its first tourists.

Balaram Naidu of Livein Adventures said the AP Scuba Diving Academy will come up in a four-acre property that belongs to the APTDC at Chintapalle. The academy will initially be for recreation and later will launch basic to master dive courses. "Apart from diving, we will train in other water sports such as boat riding, kayaking, and a few others," he added.

The water at the Chintapalle beach is clear and will be the best place for scuba diving.

"We will invest over Rs. 2 crore to set up the academy. It will provide world-class training to divers and will draw adventure lovers from across the world to this tiny hamlet. The academy will provide awareness about the rich marine life in Vizag and Vizianagaram districts. All will to be operational by October this year," Mr. Naidu added.

Meanwhile, the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) is also geared up to set up water sports training centre at Rushikonda in Vizag city.

"We have appointed a coach and will operate the centre from October to train people in surfing, kayaking, and yachting," said N. Surya Rao of the District Sports Authority (DSA), Vizag.

It may be recalled that Mr. Balaram Naidu and his team have unearthed a century-old shipwreck in the middle of the sea off Bheemili. Later, another shipwreck was discovered by another group. The two discoveries had created ripples across the scuba diving community.

Andhra Pradesh has failed to attract adventure tourists in spite of its huge potential. Less than one per cent of the total tourists to the state ventured to explore adventure sports.

Vizag had attracted over two crore domestic tourists and around one lakh foreign tourists in 2019. At least 1,500 tourists visit Araku Valley, Ananthagiri, and Tyda in winter every day.

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