Cruise tourism gets a fillip: 5 major ports to get cruise ships with dedicated terminals soon
New Delhi: To attract tourism in the country, five major ports will soon have cruise ships with dedicated terminals. Addressing an interactive session on the promotion and development of cruise tourism, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday emphasised the need to accelerate the process to boost the tourism industry.
Pic Courtesy: Twitter@nitin_gadkari
The five major ports of the country Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), Mormugao Port Trust (MoPT), New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), Cochin Port Trust (CoPT) and Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) have been developed to attract cruise ships with dedicated terminals and other related infrastructure for berthing of cruise vessels and embarking and disembarking of cruise passengers.
A Cruise Shipping Policy was announced in 2008 by the ministry of shipping to promote India as an attractive cruise tourism destination.
What is Cruise Tourism?
Cruise tourism is a luxurious form of traveling, involving an all-inclusive holiday on a cruise ship of at least 48 hours, according to a specific itinerary, in which the cruise ship calls at several ports or cities.
Important features of Cruise Tourism:
To increase the number of cruise shipping calls and passenger arrival.
To popularize cruise shipping among Indian tourists.
To provide simplified immigration process for foreign cruise tourists
To provide easy Customs clearance and to have a conducive fiscal regime for cruise ships through development of cruise terminals and related infrastructure.
Steps taken to promote Cruise Tourism:
Certainty of berth to cruise ships
Ousting charges have been removed – this has reduced overall cost
Discount of 42-66 % allowed in Port Charges
Simplified SOPs issued for processes to be observed by multiple agencies like port authorities, Customs, Immigration, Security, State Govt, Ship Agents, Tour Operators etc
E-Landing card system is ready for ease of traveling among Indian ports
E- visa introduced for online and on arrival visa facilities
Cabotage waived for foreign cruise vessels on Indian shores enabling passengers to board the vessel at Indian Ports for voyage along Indian shores.
Cruise terminals upgraded with more passenger amenities
New cruise terminals to be constructed
Reputed consultant appointed by Shipping Ministry to draw up a roadmap for Cruise Tourism in India. They have projected that the number of tourists is likely to go up to 4.5 million by 2042-43.