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'Huge cruise tourism potential in India'

A Draft Correspondent | Mumbai

In a media briefing on 8 November 2019 on board the cruise ship Costa Victoria, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said there is a huge potential for further development of cruise tourism in India. The foreign cruise ship, with a carrying capacity of 2,400 passengers, arrived at Mumbai Port the same day.

MoS Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya (fourth from right) and Mumbai Port Trust Chairman Sanjay Bhatia (third from left) along with the Captain and staff members of Costa Victoria at Mumbai Port

"Cruise tourism can become a major source of employment because of it is labour-intensive in nature. Today, 2.3 lakh Indian sea-farers are serving in the global shipping industry. Hence, the Centre is facilitating growth in this sector by way of creating synergy between the various industry stakeholders such as cruise companies, tour operators, immigration and customs department and more," the Minister remarked.

The Captain of cruise ship Costa Victoria presenting a plaque to MoS Mansukh Mandaviya on board the ship at Mumbai Port as MbPT Chairman Sanjay Bhatia looks on

He further stated, "The number of foreign cruises home-porting in India has significantly gone up in the past few years and the Union Government has taken additional measures to attract foreign cruises to the country. Guaranteed berths to cruise ships, removal of ousting charges, e-visa and visa on arrival facilities, exemption of biometrics for three years for ease of travel, single e-landing card, upgradation and modernisation of all cruise terminals have boosted the industry."

MoS Mansukh Mandaviya addressing the media persons on board Costa Victoria at Mumbai Port

Centre is focusing on developing both coastal as well as inland waterways so that cruise tourism can thrive well. The Government has also identified tourist circuits for this purpose. In Maharashtra, Tarkarli, Murud, Janjira and Ganpatipule are being seen as major destinations for development of cruise tourism. Mumbai Port Trust Chairman Sanjay Bhatia was also present on the occasion. He informed coastal traffic in Indian ports have significantly increased in the last four years.

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