Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy pitched for promoting river cruise tourism by utilizing the immense potential of rivers in the country. To this effect, as many as eight MoUs have been signed during the just concluded Incredible India International Cruise Conference (IIICC) in Mumbai, jointly organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Government of India and FICCI. The event was held from 14-15 May 2022.
The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned ten projects under coastal thematic circuits worth Rs. 648.80 crore across various States / Union Territories. The government has also sanctioned 228.61 crores for various projects on developing cruise terminals and related infrastructure at major ports under the ”Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development” scheme.
Citing upcoming opportunities, Reddy said there are around 150 conferences planned at various places in the G-20 countries. He said: “We may use these platforms for showcasing tourism potential in our country. The promotion of coastal tourism through Beach tourism, Lighthouse tourism and Cruise tourism will help communities such as fishing communities to find other livelihood opportunities and supplement their existing income”.
The Minister stressed upon the vast potential of the river cruise industry in the country. He invited domestic and international tourists to ‘Come, Cruise in India.’ The minister said ‘The Central Government has made significant efforts to clean and rejuvenate our rivers including the mammoth Namami Gange Project, which can provide a major boost to river-based tourist activities’.
“We are currently working towards a Comprehensive Indian National Tourism Policy. Cruise tourism will certainly be a priority sector, as it is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing sectors of the leisure and travel industry”, he added.
The first Incredible India International Cruise Conference was organized for developing strategies to make India as a cruise hub, to create policy initiatives and port infrastructure, potential of river cruise tourism, role of technology in the post-pandemic world were some of the key issues deliberated at the two-day event. Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal was also present on the second day of the conference and witnessed the signing of various MoUs.