Cruise Tourism to rise
The Ministry of Tourism has identified Cruise Tourism as one of the Niche Tourism products considering it as one of the growing areas of travel to the country. Central Financial Assistance is provided to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations/Central Agencies for the development of tourism infrastructure including development of Cruise tourism infrastructure under relevant Scheme guidelines subject to availability of funds. Ministry of Tourism has also constituted a Task Force for promotion of Cruise Tourism with representatives of all major stakeholders.
Following the recommendations of the Task Force, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for cruise vessels has been finalized involving the concerned stakeholders and directions in this regard issued by Ministry of Shipping on 1st August 2016.
The Ministry of Shipping informs that Government has also taken following steps to promote Cruise Tourism in the country:
a. Foreign Flag vessels carrying passengers have been allowed to call at Indian Ports for a period of 10 years with effect from 6th February 2009, without obtaining licence from Director General of Shipping.
b. Port Level Committees have been constituted to address manpower, coordination and logistic issues for handling cruise vessels at ports.
c. All Ports have been directed to offer rebates in port charges and other financial incentives for cruise vessels and also provide rebates in order to attract cruise liners to make major Indian ports as home ports.