First Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 laid emphasis on promoting cruise tourism in the country. It attempted to spread info about the government’s preparedness to develop cruise tourism in the country and showcasing it as a desired destination for tourists.
Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy, speaking at the first Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022, held recently in Mumbai, laid emphasis on various tourism related themes and discussions, which included ‘Potential of River Cruising and Cruise Tourism: Success Stories and Destination Development’.
“India’s 7,500-km-long coastline makes her a leader in the maritime sector. Our rich maritime history is evident from the sphere of influence our civilisation and culture has been able to create across Asia. India’s long coast is not only a key lever for building trade and growing our exports, but also an opportunity to promote tourism. India has long been known as the land of the rivers,” he said at the inauguration of the two-day conference.
The conference presented ample business opportunities in India’s cruise tourism sector. The objective of the event was to showcase the country as a desired destination for cruise passengers, highlight the regional connectivity, promote new destinations and attractions like lighthouses, and disseminate information about the country’s preparedness for developing the cruise tourism sector. Reddy highlighted the efforts being made by the Government of India to promote cruise tourism.
Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, also spoke at the conference and said that cruise tourism is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing components of the leisure industry. “India will be a magnificent cruise destination. With the participation of global players, we will develop the sector and capture this growing market,” he shared. Sonowal also announced that three dedicated cruise training academies will be set up, one each in Goa, Kerala and West Bengal, to tackle the talent shortage. “The Maritime India Vision 2030 aims to generate more than two lakh jobs,” he said.
Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways, said the cruise industry is an emerging industry in India. He said that upgradation of the cruise infrastructure is being carried out at Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai and Vizag ports.
G Kamala Vardhan Rao, Director General – Tourism, was also present on the occasion. He said the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Tourism have been jointly working to identify and create routes and see that SOPs are issued. “The promotion of coastal tourism through beach tourism, lighthouse tourism and cruise tourism will help communities. Country’s perennial rivers will offer a historical experience and state governments are developing inland waterways tourism policies to cater to domestic tourists and international travellers,” he mentioned.
Rohan Khaunte, Goa’s Minister of Tourism, revealed the state is trying to position itself as a tech-tourism state by attempting to sell sun, sand and software.