Published on : Tuesday, November 12, 2019
In order to tap into the growing cruise tourism market in India, the Indian Shipping Ministry is trying to increase the popularity of cruising by simplifying norms and providing a lot of facilities to the cruisers.
“Our target is to achieve 1,000 ship callings in the next five years and 2,000 in the next decade. We are expecting to host one million cruise passengers per annum in the next five years, and three million in the next 10 years. We are also creating awareness about cruise tourism to achieve the optimum potential of the Indian market. Facilities such as e-visa and visa-on-arrival, guaranteed berths on cruise ships, and biometrics exempted e-visa (for three years) are offered now to the passengers.” said Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, MbPT and Indian Ports Association while speaking at a press conference conducted on Costa Victoria.
The Shipping Ministry of India has also added two main ports such as Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata along with Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, Mangalore and Chennai ports. It has also identified Tarkarli, Murud Janjira, Ganpatipule in Maharashtra, Thiruvananthapuram, Vizhinjam, Calicut in Kerala, Daman, Diu, Porbandar, Dwarka in Gujarat, Lakshwadeep island and Kadmat island ports to increase the size of the cruise tourism industry in India.
Cruise tourism is currently one of the fastest developing segments in India. According to Mansukh L Mandviya, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping, “One of our biggest achievements has been the increase in the number of cruise ships coming to India from 128 to 593 within four years, and every year, the number is increasing by twenty-thirty percent.”
He also informed that the increase in numbers is due to the measures taken by the Government, as the Cruising Industry contributes a significant amount to our economy. “It is indeed an active factor in the economic growth of any country and we also see it as a major source of employment because of its labour- intensive nature and the significant multiplier effect on employment in related sectors,” he added.
Costa Victoria has commenced cruises from November 8, 2019 which will continue till February 29, 2020. This is the fourth season of Costa Cruises homeporting in Indian waters. Costa Cruises is the only international cruise liner in India to offer regular cruise itineraries of 3 to 7 nights from Mumbai to Kochi, Kochi to Maldives, Mumbai to Maldives and Maldives to Mumbai, confirming its strong interest in proactively developing the Indian cruise market.
Tags: cruise tourism