The Union Ministry presents a national draft for a cruise tourism policy

Steps proposed by the Union Tourism Ministry in its draft National Strategy for Cruise Tourism released on Tuesday include a board to facilitate business transactions, modernization of existing ports and a cruise agency database. The move came after meetings of the G20 Working Group on Tourism indicated that cruise tourism could be a lucrative sector.

Although the center has made concerted attempts to boost cruise tourism in India and presented an action plan in 2017, the sector still has a long way to go. With 12 major ports and 200 smaller ports along 7,500 km of coastline to the west and east, and a more than 20,000 km network of 110 navigable waterways connecting some 400 rivers, the ministry has pushed the potential for cruise tourism in the country to develop with stakeholders such as the Department of Shipping and Ports and other authorities, a plan to modernize facilities across the country.

In its draft strategy, the department said the National Cruise Tourism Board will be composed of stakeholders from departments, states and industry stakeholders and will build a unified cruise licensing system.

In addition to identifying new cruise ports that could be upgraded to build ocean cruising, coastal cruising, river cruising and yachting infrastructure, the plan will also focus on identifying existing ports and river terminals along state coasts and riverbanks that could be used to develop additional infrastructure facilities for cruise ships and terminals. The plan also envisages the construction of cruise routes by integrating luxury rail travel with river or coastal cruises.

To encourage domestic cruise tourism, the plan proposes increasing the number of coastal cruise ships at the state and interstate levels, ports offering coastal cruises on both the west and east coasts, destinations connected by coastal cruise tours, every year Promote overnight tourists for coastal cruises and the number of rooms for coastal cruise nights.

To attract international cruises, the Ministry of Tourism has proposed aiming for 1,000 world-class ships and a million annual visitors. The ministry also plans to ensure a 10.5 meter berth draft and year-round deep sea port operations.

According to the draft, a nationwide directory of travel agents and destination management specialists for handling the entire value chain in cruise tourism is to be created in each travel destination.

On the sidelines of the recent G20 meeting in Panaji, Tourism Minister G. Kishen Reddy released the draft and a sector exploration event was held, attended by several G20 delegates, the ministry said.

Related Articles

Back to top button