Short Note: Key Issues On Cruise Tourism In India

Government has identified 5 ports to boost cruise toursim in India. What is status, government policy and issues with Cruise tourism in India?

In order to boost cruise tourism in India and increase cruise liner traffic from 158 to 955 vessels a year as well as increasing cruise tourists from 2 lakh to 40 lakh in next five years and to transform India into an international cruise destination, new cruise terminals are planned at 5 ports. Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai ports will be developed as cruise terminals. As India’s geographical location is at strategical advantage, by promoting cruise tourism India can benefit a lot. For this the government is forming a policy for cruise tourism. It will result in high employment generation i.e. 2,50,000 jobs in these five ports and simplifying rules and procedure.

The issues related to cruise tourism in India are as follows:

  • Restricted movement of foreign cruises.
  • Taxes levied on cruise operators are based on the tonnage rather than number of passengers.
  • Indian ports are not passenger friendly.

All these shortcomings are being addressed by a committee formed for making a policy to promote cruise tourism. Some of the recommendations are as follows:

  • A single window system for all pre-cruise requirement of operators like entry of vessels and vehicles.
  • Separate roads to terminals for uniform security procedures.
  • One time security check
  • Use of technology for clearances instead of manual process
  • The passengers travelling to India via cruise will be able to get e-visa

As the policy is being made and the action plan will be in place within 3 months from now.