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Published on : Friday, July 7, 2017
The changing dynamics of cruise tourism has been initiated by new tourism policies which are to be implemented this month. This will help in tapping potentials that will help in earning valuable foreign exchange and job creation.
The Union Tourism Minister, Mahesh Sharma said that cruise tourism will emerge as a game changer in the wake of ‘Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India’, introduced by Nitin Gadkari.
Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari said, “Based on today’s consultations with the stakeholders, international consultants and secretaries of Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Shipping, a policy on cruise tourism will be made in a month. Forty-six pc capital investments are required for employment generation in tourism sector. If we will have 700 cruises, we can give employment to 0.25-0.3 million people. They will receive training of skill development.”
The policy will envisage norms for immigration, security problems for foreign tourists, hospitality and restaurants. India attracts nearly 70 cruise vessels a year, which is expected to go up to 700 with this initiative.
The government plans to develop western Indian city of Mumbai and southern Indian ports of Chennai, Kochi, Goa and Mangalore into cruise terminals. It has also urged 200 minor and private ports with the state governments to develop passenger terminals for cruise tourists. As per latest figures, India has a very small share in world cruise tourism market, as against 23 million passengers globally in 2016. Current estimates indicate that approximately 1,20,000 Indians book a cruise each year. As per Singapore Tourism Board statistics, over 90 pc of India’s cruise tourists travel to that country for cruising experience.