Why was this topic chosen?
Waters are the new focus of the government both Nationally and Intentionally. At the national level there is Sagarmala, National Waterways project, Jal Marg Vikas project. At the bilateral and international level there is Sagarmala, Project Spice Route, Project Mausam, Cruise tourism agreements with West Asian countries and other maritime security initiatives vis-à-vis OBOR of China. Aspirants generally focus on Security and Bilateral aspects leaving out other dimensions. The best way to study it at four levels
- Geographical aspects like Waterway routes, important places connected on maps, cultural significance if any.
- Economic aspects like tourism industry in India
- International and Bilateral engagements in this area
- Environmental impacts if any of such projects
Cruise tourism terminals
Placing in the syllabus
- Importance of tourism in Indian Economy
- Demand for tourism infrastructure in coastal states
- Demand for cruise tourism by Indians
- Development of ports and Sagarmala
- Cruise from Mumbai to Goa
- Development of NW-1
- Cruise tourism Policy
- Mumbai Docks development for cruise terminal
- Easy access to foreign tourists and ease of travel permits (Ex; Andaman)
- Cruise tourism in North-East and Bangladesh corridor
Cruise tourism is a form of travelling for leisure purposes, involving an all-inclusive holiday on a cruise ship of at least 48 hours, according to a specific itinerary in which the cruise ship calls at several ports or cities.
Cruise tourism is seen as a potential growth enabler for the tourism industry as a whole. This has been made possible due to several factors such as a rise in standard of living, desire to have new experiences. Traditionally, popular cruise tourism destinations were centered on Europe, South East Asia etc. However, if we combine India’ rich natural and cultural heritage along with all the facilities of cruise tourism it can help leverage India position in the global tourist map.
The Cruise Shipping Policy of the Ministry of Shipping was approved by the Government of India on 26th June, 2008. The objective of the policy is:
- Make India as an attractive cruise tourism destination with the state-of-the-art infrastructural and other facilities at various parts in the country;
- Attract the right segment of the foreign tourists to cruise shipping in India;
- Popularize cruise shipping with Indian tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism has accordingly included promotion of Cruise Shipping under its “New initiatives”.
A Steering Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary (Shipping) that would act as a nodal body to address all issues regarding Cruise Tourism.
The ministry has recently formulated an action plan for realising the full potential of cruise tourism in the country.
The Action Plan that has emerged from these deliberations focuses on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad; ensuring cleanliness and operational efficiency.
The Action Plan lays a lot of emphasis on publicising the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders.
Government of India has taken several steps to promote cruise tourism in the country. These include:
* Certainty of berth to cruise ships
* Ousting charges have been removed – this has reduced overall cost
* Simplified SOPs issued for processes to be observed by multiple agencies like port authorities, customs, immigration, security, state government, ship agents, tour operators, etc
* E-landing card system is ready for ease of travelling among Indian ports
* E- visa introduced for online and on arrival visa facilities
* Cabotage waived for foreign cruise vessels on Indian shores enabling passengers to board the vessel at Indian ports for voyage along Indian shores (Cabotage: levy on foreign vessels to service domestic ports)
* New cruise terminals to be constructed
Reputed consultant appointed by the Shipping Ministry to draw up a road map for cruise tourism in India. They have projected that the number of tourists is likely to go up to 4.5 million by 2042-43.
Test Yourself: Mould your thought
Development of cruise tourism is a golden opportunity both for employment and regional development? Discuss