Union Minister Nitin Gadkari urged the state governments to promote cruise tourism by developing and marketing their tourist attractions, saying it will create lakhs of jobs and boost the economy.
India has the potential to cater to 700 cruise ships per year as against 158 handled this year, said the Minister for Transport, Highways and Shipping while addressing the national workshop on Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India.
The cruise industry can generate more than 2.5 lakh jobs for ten lakh cruise passengers, giving a big boost to the country’s economy, he said.
“Cruise terminals are being developed at five major ports – Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Mangalore and Chennai. In addition, the transport potential of 111 inland waterways will also be tapped. Work will start for developing ten inland waterways by the end of this year. This includes the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra on which work is already in progress,” said Mr Gadkari.
A joint task force, headed by Secretary (Shipping) and Secretary (Tourism), was constituted for the purpose, and a global consultant was engaged for drawing up an Action Plan on cruise tourism in the country, said Mr Gadkari. Minister of State for Tourism Mahesh Sharma was also present at the occasion.