Cruise tourism can be a game changer for India says Gadkari

Cruise tourism can be a game changer for India says Gadkari

Right atmosphere, easy immigration, simple taxation and proper security is required to boost cruise tourism in India.

Union minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari unveiled a standard operating procedure (SoP) for developing cruise tourism in the country. The minister said that cruise tourism could be a “game-changer” for India as it has a potential to generate revenues of Rs 35,000 crore while creating employment for over two lakh people.

Speaking at a conference, ‘Dawn of Cruise Tourism’, Gadkari said that “right market atmosphere, easy immigration process, security procedures that do not impede movement, taxation regime that allows for a platform for growth, customs and duties procedures that do not tie the industry” are key steps that the ministry has underscored to unleash the potential of the sector. He said that lack of proper infrastructure and procedural hassles for dealing with cruise vessels and tourists hinder the growth of cruise tourism.

The ministry has recommended “single window system for all pre-cruise requirements for cruise operators, separate dedicated approach road and entrance to the cruise terminals, uniform and consistent security procedures at all ports, coordination between immigration and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), use of technology in clearance, implementation of green lane/red lane at existing terminals with random custom checking, declaration of only limited items of inventory of the cruise ships in place of the existing requirement of having the complete inventory for all the stocks in the ship”.

He said that port level committees have already been constituted to handle manpower and logistics issues along with SoP for handling cruise vessels and tourists, provision of additional rebate of 25 percent above the 40 percent on coastal cruise transportation for home vessels, extension of e-Visa and e-Landing facility to five ports among many other facilities.

Tender has been awarded for construction of terminal building at Mumbai port worth Rs 300 crore. There are plans to develop more port destinations other than the 5 ports of Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai.


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