Cruise tourism has potential to grow 10 folds, says Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Cruise tourism has potential to grow 10 folds, says Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

He was speaking after inaugurating the 1st Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 in Mumbai today

Sanjay JogUpdated: Saturday, May 14, 2022, 05:48 PM IST
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Cruise tourism has potential to grow 10 folds, says Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal |

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has asserted that Indian cruise market has the potential to grow 10 folds over the next decade, driven by rising demand and disposable incomes. “The government of India realizes this potential and is determined to position India as a global cruise hub with state-of-art infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises," he said after inaugurating the 1st Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 in Mumbai today.

Stating that India is a magnificent cruise destination, Sonowal said several attractions of India along its 7,500 km long coastline and vast river systems are yet to be unveiled to the world. He said the global players have evinced a keen interest in promoting cruise tourism in India, and with the development of right infrastructure and adoption of modern technology, India will certainly become one of the top tourism destinations in the world.

Sonowal said that the Government has set up a Task Force headed by the Secretary, Tourism and Secretary, Shipping for development of cruise tourism. The Minister today announced the setting up of a high-level Advisory Committee, comprising national and international experts, to help the Task Force in creating an enabling eco-system for development of cruise tourism in the country.

Minister of state Shripad Naik said, "Four theme-based coastal destination circuits such as Gujarat pilgrimage tours, West Coast – Cultural and scenic tours, South Coast – Ayurvedic wellness tours and East Coast – Heritage tourism have been developed to activate cruise demand." "Lighthouse and Island development is also being undertaken to attract Coastal tourists," he added. He further said River cruise or Inland cruise is another potential component of cruise tourism that could be explored.

India aims to increase cruise passenger traffic from 0.4 million at present to 4 million. The economic potential of Cruise tourism is expected to go up from $110 mn to $5.5 bn in the years to come.

Further, upgradation and modernisation are being carried out at seven major ports in the country including the flagship New International Cruise terminal coming up in Mumbai with a total cost about Rs 495 crores. The iconic sea cruise terminal coming up at BPX-Indira Dock, is expected to be commissioned by July 2024. The terminal will have a capacity of handling 200 ships and 1 million passengers per annum. Similar infrastructure upgradation is taking place in Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Kolkata.

Meanwhile, Sonowal and Naik laid the foundation stone for the third Chemical Berth at Pir Pau Jetty of Mumbai Port Authority to handle chemicals including LPG. The berth will have a rated capacity of 2 mtpa and cater to very large gas carriers and tankers up to 72,500 displacement tonnage. Both ministers also remotely inaugurated Kelshi Lighthouse in Ratnagiri district.

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