Government is working on a comprehensive national tourism policy: G Kishan Reddy

Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy said on Sunday that the government was working on a comprehensive national tourism policy to boost the tourism industry.

Addressing the last day of the two-day International Cruise India Conference here, Reddy also urged industry stakeholders to prepare a roadmap for the development of the cruise tourism industry and their asked to create an action plan on cruise tourism in mission mode. .

The government is taking a series of initiatives to promote river cruise tourism, including the development of the waterfront, increasing the number of cruise ships to 1,000, developing infrastructure for water parks, among others, he said at the event organized by the Ports, Shipping and Ministry of Waterways in collaboration with the professional body Ficci.

During the day, up to eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed between Mumbai Port Trust, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and various cruise service operators in the presence of the Union Minister for ports, shipping and waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal and Reddie.

The domestic river cruise industry is at a nascent stage with an initial focus on NW 1 (Ganga) and NW 2 (Brahmaputra) serving approximately 13,000 passenger movements in 2019, across 100 cruise voyages, accounting for approximately 1% of the global river cruise market.

However, this segment of tourism has also been impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is now eyeing a revival.

Globally, the river cruise market has grown by around 5% over the past few years and is expected to account for around 37% of the cruise market by 2027.

Europe has been the engine of growth with around 60% of the world’s river cruise ships, with the Danube in Europe and the Yangtze in China dominating the global river cruise market.

”We are working on a comprehensive national tourism policy to promote the tourism industry. It will also bring together important stakeholders, including the various state governments,” Reddy said.

Calling on international cruise operators to invest in the national cruise tourism industry, the Union Tourism Minister said the government would facilitate whatever is needed to set up shop here.

”We need to focus on both domestic and international tourism. It is high time that we work together and explore the potential of tourism in the country,” the minister said.

He said India will host the G23 summit next year, during which some 120 conferences on different topics including cruise tourism are expected to be held in different cities across the country, adding that, ”We should use this opportunity with proper branding.” Speaking at the conference, IWAI Chairman Sanjay Bandopadhyay said the river cruise segment had seen double-digit growth.

According to Maritime India Vision 2030, out of the 12 ports identified for cruise tourism, infrastructure expectations have been implemented in six of its major ports and need to be taken for the other six at – Kolkata, Porbandar, Ganpatipule , Diu, Somnath, and Konark.

The Maritime Vision 2030 speaks to the great untapped potential of river cruises on national waterways. Linking river and sea tourism between inland and coastal cities as well as neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand could provide a unique experience for passengers.

The eight MoUs signed on Sunday include an initial pact between IWAI and Heritage River Journey Pvt Ltd operating under the Antara Luxury River Cruises brand, for a river cruise between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Bogibeel in Dibrugarh district in Assam via Kolkata and the Indo-Bangladesh protocol rote.

Another was signed between the port of Mumbai and Angriya Sea Eagle Ltd for cooperation, development and promotion of the cruise industry in the country. As part of the initial pact, the company also plans to invest Rs 500 crore over the next five years in the cruise tourism sector.

Delhi-based Waterways Leisure Tourism Pvt Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chennai Port Authority for home porting of its cruise ships in Chennai for the upcoming cruise season.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)