Centre dedicated to position India as a global cruise hub: Shripad Naik

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Panaji: Union minister of state for Tourism Shripad Naik has said that the central government recognises the immense potential of cruise tourism and dedicated to positioning the country as “global cruise hub.”

Naik was addressing a side event “Making Cruise Tourism a Model for Sustainable and Responsible Travel” during ongoing G20 Working Group meeting on Tourism on Monday.

“The Government of India recognizes the immense potential of cruise tourism and is dedicated to positioning India as a global cruise hub with state-of-the-art infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises,” Naik said.

The union minister said that the Union government aims to increase cruise passenger traffic from the current 0.4 million to 4 million, while the economic potential of cruise tourism is expected to rise from USD 110 million to USD 5.5 billion in the years to come.

Union Tourism Minister G Kishen Reddy was also present on the occasion.

 Naik said that a significant upgradation and modernization efforts are underway at seven major ports across the country, including the flagship New International Cruise Terminal in Mumbai, with a total cost of approximately Rs. 495 crores.

“The iconic sea cruise terminal at BPX-Indira Dock (Mumbai) is  expected to be commissioned by July 2024, will have the capacity to handle 200 ships and 1 million passengers per annum. Similar infrastructure upgrades are also taking place in Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, and Kolkata,” he added.

He said that the  Cruise tourism holds significant importance in the overall tourism sector, contributing to the enhancement of local economies through employment opportunities, additional tax receipts, foreign exchange benefits, and revenue generation.

“Understanding the perceptions and attitudes of residents towards tourism is crucial for future planning, policy considerations, and successful development, marketing, and operations,” he added.

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