The Government has taken the initiative to expand the cruise tourism in India. An action plan has been prepared with the help of Global Consultant. Under which India’s image under Incredible India will be established as a strong brand of cruise tourism and it will be promoted as a major destination for cruise tourism.
In the last three decades, cruise tours have proven to be the most successful area of hosting the world. According to Cruise Industry News Annual, in 2016, there were 4,96,653 berths available in the world in 310 cruise ships. India’s share in this is only one percent. Indian cruise tourism has been focused primarily on indigenous tourists. Foreign tourists remained neglected.
Indian ports mainly work as the halting station of cruise lines. In the year 2016-17, there were 158 cruise lines on five major ports – Mumbai, Cochin, Goa, New Mangalore and Chennai Port. They also had 1.92 lakhs passengers. Prior to this, in the 2015-16, 126 lakh passenger handles were made in 128 cruise trips. The Government estimates that by 2031-32, the number of cruise tourists in India could increase to 15 lakhs and to 4 million by 2042-43.
Apart from business, cruise tourism is also very important in terms of employment. A trained person is required to handle every 3-4 cruise passengers on the port. Thus, there is a possibility of employment for 15-20 lakh people in this area till 2043.
Cruise travels before and after cruise passenger passengers. Where every cruise passenger spends an average of 70-100 dollars a day. Thus, a cruise ship with a capacity of 3000 passengers generates thousands of dollars a day. In 2016, Costa Neo Classica Ship used the Mumbai Port as a home port for its seven visits. This increased the business of hotels here.
The government has already taken several steps to promote cruise tourism. While many more steps are proposed to be taken. In the steps taken, allowing foreign signage vessels to stay on Indian ports without license, setting up of port level committees for human resources issues, 30 per cent discount in port tariffs, Home Port Cruise Vessel has 40 per cent of coastal cruise Apart from the discount, additional 25% extra discount, the convenience of e-visa in five major ports.
In addition, it is also proposed to issue e-landing cards to cruise passengers. Other proposals include cruise tourism standards, preparation of long-term business strategies focused on customers, expansion of cruise infrastructure and fleet, modernization of custom and immigration processes. Tourism Boards will emphasize promotion, training under the Cruise Strategy. Port officials will be provided education and training in matters related to cruise tourism. Apart from cooperation with Sri Lanka, Maldives and Arab countries, berth allocation policy will be developed. With the development of new ports and destinations, taxi drivers will be trained at national level.