139 cruise ships carrying over 1.6 lakh passengers visited India in 2017-18: K J Alphons
In 2017-18, a total of 139 cruise ships carrying 1,62,660 passengers visited India at six major ports namely Mumbai Port, Mormugao Port, New Mangalore Port, Cochin Port, Chennai Port and Kolkata Port.
The five major ports of the country 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.
The ministry of shipping has brought out a Vision Document with a view to develop India as a cruise shipping destination. The vision document envisages to develop supporting infrastructure for cruise tourism at ports, to give special focus on developing the domestic cruise industry through policy supports, incentives and port infrastructure development. Separately, the ministry of shipping and ministry of tourism has jointly appointed a consultant for ‘Preparation of Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India’.
Cruise tourism operations augment local economic activities as business opportunities arise for supply for provisions, transport, hotels, bunkering, etc to cruise ships which generate direct and indirect employment and help in growth of local economy, said Alphons.