With its vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and undisturbed idyllic islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, India may get some fillip in cruise tourism in the months to come.
A report in Business Standard says that a high-level meeting of the Bureau of Immigration (BoI), Customs, Ministry of Shipping
(MoS) and Ministry of Tourism
(MoT) will be held in the national capital to deliberate on steps to popularize cruise tourism.
Also, Royal Caribbean, one of the largest cruise lines in the world, is organizing a seminar on cruise tourism. Quantum of the Seas (QOTS), the third largest cruise ship in the world, will dock at Cochin port on June 4-5, en route to Singapore and Shanghai.
The seminar on QOTS in June will involve officials from several government agencies. Other cruise lines like AIDA, TUI, Costa Cruise, etc are also learnt to be keen on participating in the seminar.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has recently organized the India Cruise Forum. The first-of-its-kind in the country, the Forum brought together speakers representing key international cruise brands as well as top Indian travel agents and airlines from India and Asia. The Forum featured discussions on the evolving cruise industry in the South East Asian markets and the existing opportunities for the Indian market.
Neeta Lachmandas, Assistant Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board said that India is one of STB’s top source markets for cruising, and hopes that the Cruise Forum provided a common business platform to exchange invaluable knowledge and create opportunities to grow the cruise business.
Nishith Saxena, Founder & Director, Cruise Professionals, said, “India Cruise Forum is the first serious effort by the industry stakeholders to examine the true potential India has as a source market. Cruise Tourism, including inbound, outbound, and river cruising, must gradually carve its niche in the mind-space of the evolved Indian traveller
Though India is ranked 41st in terms of inbound tourist arrivals, it is 16th in total tourism receipts as per the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).