The picturesque locales at 17th century Dutch township of Bheemunipatnam and the landscape of Visakhapatnam with magnificent beachfront have floored Ambassador of Belgium Jan Luykx.
On conclusion of a two-day vacation with family, the Dutch and English connection of Bheemunipatnam, popular as Bheemili, mesmerised the foreign dignitary during his maiden visit.
“We liked Bheemili and Visakhapatnam a lot but what it needs is protecting the heritage structures and creation of more amenities for tourists for their recreation,” Mr. Luykx told The Hindu on Wednesday.
The ride from the city to Bheemili was very pleasant and breathtaking. He feels that once amenities are created, the area can attract lot of tourists from abroad.
The location of Buddhist sites on hilltops, the exhilarating Rushikonda beach resorts and the Erra Matti Dibbalu (red sand dunes), which have been declared as a geo-heritage site in between the city and Bheemili attract several film production units including some from Odisha and West Bengal.
However, the badly maintained heritage sites have remained a matter of serious concern among heritage activists. Bheemili has a lighthouse, the building of second municipality of the country, several cemeteries of Dutch and English settlements dating back to 17th to 19th centuries.
During a recent visit, Executive Director of Fleet Management Ltd (part of Hong Kong-headquartered Caravel Group) M.S. Nagarajan (Aga) told this correspondent that he would try to solicit funding from the Netherlands and others to ‘rebuild Dutch village’ to promote it as an international tourist spot.