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Potential of Cruise Tourism in India

  • 16 May 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: FICCI, Lighthouse, PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, Swadesh Darshan scheme, Namami Gange Project

For Mains: Potential of Cruise Tourism in India and related Initiatives

Why in News?

Recently, the first Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 was held.

  • India is working on a national tourism policy to give an impetus to the Tourism industry.

What is the India International Cruise Conference 2022?

  • The conference has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • Some of the key issues being deliberated at the two day event:
    • Strategies for developing India as a cruise hub, policy initiatives and port infrastructure, potential of river cruise tourism, role of technology in the post-pandemic world.

What is the Potential of Cruise Tourism in India?

  • About:
    • The Indian cruise market has the potential to grow 10 folds over the next decade, driven by rising demand and disposable incomes.
    • India is a magnificent cruise destination, several attractions of India along its 7,500 km long coastline and vast river systems are yet to be unveiled to the world.
    • The government of India realizes the potential and is determined to position India as a global cruise hub with state-of-art infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises.
    • In India, global players have shown a keen interest in promoting cruise tourism, and with the right infrastructure, this could happen with the adoption of modern technology, India will certainly become one of the top tourism destinations in the world.
  • Aim:
    • India aims to increase cruise passenger traffic from 0.4 million at present to 4 million.
    • Economic potential of Cruise tourism is expected to go up from USD 110 mn to USD 5.5 bn in the years to come.

What are the Related Initiatives?

  • Task Force:
    • The Government has set up a Task Force for development of cruise tourism.
    • The setting up of a high level Advisory Committee, comprising national and international experts was announced to help the Task Force in creating an enabling eco-system for development of cruise tourism in the country.
  • Coastal Destination Circuits:
    • ‘Four theme based coastal destination circuits have been developed to activate cruise demand.
      • Four theme based coastal destination circuits are:
        • Gujarat Pilgrimage tours
        • West Coast – Cultural and scenic tours
        • South Coast – Ayurvedic wellness tours and
        • East Coast – Heritage tourism
  • Lighthouse:
    • Lighthouse and Island development is also being undertaken to attract Coastal tourists.
      • River cruise or Inland cruise is another potential component of cruise tourism that could be explored.
  • Maritime Vision Document 2030:
    • The Maritime Vision Document 2030 has also been prepared with focus on heritage tourism,Ayurveda tourism,coastal tourism,river cruise tourism etc.
      • Post pandemic the tourism sector in India is growing with resurgence and cruise tourism has registered a 35% year-on-year growth.
  • Upgradation and Modernisation of Ports:
    • Upgradation and modernisation of Ports 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 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.
  • PM GatiShakti National Master Plan:
    • Under the ambitious PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, tourism related infrastructure is also being developed with a focus on shipping, river tourism, forest and wildlife tourism.
  • Swadesh Darshan scheme:
    • Through the Swadesh Darshan scheme, 10 projects under coastal thematic circuits worth Rs 648.80 crore across various states/Union Territories have been sanctioned.
  • Through Namami Gange Project:
    • Government has made significant efforts to clean and rejuvenate rivers, including through the mammoth Namami Gange Project, which can provide a major boost to river-based tourist activities.
  • Others:
    • Several initiatives including infrastructure upgradation, rationalisation of port fees, removing ousting charges, granting priority berthing to cruise ships, providing e-visa facilities etc have also been taken.

What is the Status of Cruise Market around the world?

  • Globally the river cruise market has grown at around 5% over the last few years and is expected to constitute around 37% of the cruise market by 2027.
  • Europe has been driving growth with around 60% share of river cruise vessels in the world with rivers Danube in Europe and Yangtze in China dominating the river cruise market globally.

Source: PIB

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