India’s cruise tourism aims for 4m passengers and revenue of ₹35,500 by 2041

According to recent statements by government officials at the G20 summit and a press conference in Delhi, India’s cruise tourism industry is poised for significant growth.

V Vidhyavathi, the Minister of Tourism, on Tuesday outlined the country’s ambitious vision, which aims to increase the number of cruise passengers from 0.3 million in 2023 to 4 million by 2041. The economic potential of the sector is also expected to increase from ₹712 crore to ₹35,500 crore by 2041.

In order to achieve sustainable tourism, the minister presented the five priorities of the “Goa Roadmap” at the meeting of the tourism working group of the G20 summit. These priorities include green tourism, digitization, skills development, tourism MSME (micro, small and medium-sized enterprise) support and destination management.

It was stressed that these priorities represent a roadmap not just for India but for the whole world. In India, a whole-of-government approach is followed, with the five priorities for implementation shared with central and state ministries.

growth potential

M Beena, Chairman of the Cochin Port Authority, highlighted the growth potential of the Indian cruise industry and forecast revenue to increase from ₹712 crore in 2016 to ₹35,500 crore by 2041.

The number of passenger ships is expected to increase from 166 in 2016 to 955 in 2041. Mumbai’s cruise potential will gain momentum with the upcoming G+3 international cruise terminal, which will be operational in December 2023. The terminal is expected to welcome 3.2 million passengers by 2041.

To realize the potential of coastal tourism in India, the government has identified four themed coastal destinations. These tours include Gujarat pilgrimage tours with a focus on pilgrimage tourism; the west coast with a focus on cultural and scenic tours; Kerala’s coast promoting Ayurvedic wellness and scenic tourism; and the East Coast, which offers heritage tourism circuits.

The government plans to set up ferry services and a dedicated cruise action team, as well as upgrading and modernizing existing cruise terminals and building new ones.

Infrastructure facilities in Indian ports, including smaller ports, are being modernized to accommodate larger cruise ships and operations are being standardized to align with international standards.

The government also wants to provide customs and immigration assistance to river cruises and has presented a draft national cruise tourism strategy that includes various incentives for cruise ships, such as: B. Guaranteed berths, reduced fees and simplified visa procedures, Rakesh Kumar Verma, additional secretary, said the Ministry of Tourism.

The draft also highlighted that all 12 major and 200 minor seaports along the 7,500 km coastline and all river terminals along the 110 waterways through the 10,000 km river length of India are eligible for the construction and/or operation and maintenance of terminals in the PPP model to be introduced.

interest of investors

The Ministry of Tourism intends to attract investor interest in cruise ship construction, create common platforms for auxiliary and ship construction systems, set up ship repair clusters for cruise tourism across India, and promote sustainability through increased recycling of cruise ships.

In addition, the draft strategy envisages the development of terminals based on a PPP model in all major and minor seaports, river terminals and waterways across the country.

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