The government is working on a comprehensive national tourism policy: Union Tourism and Culture

Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kisan Reddy on Sunday said the government was working towards a comprehensive national tourism policy to boost the tourism industry.

Speaking on the last day of the two-day India International Cruise Conference here, Reddy also called on industry stakeholders to prepare a roadmap for the development of the cruise tourism industry and asked them to come up with an action plan for cruise tourism in a mission-mode. .

At a function organized by the port, shipping and ports, he said the government is taking several initiatives to promote river cruise tourism, including river development, increasing the number of cruise ships to one thousand, infrastructural development of water parks and so on. Ministry of Waterways in collaboration with industry body Ficci 7

During the day, eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between Mumbai Port Trust, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and various cruise service operators in the presence of Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonwal. Reddy.

The inland river cruise industry is in its infancy with the initial focus NW 1 (Ganges) and NW 2 (Brahmaputra) serving about 13,000 passengers in 2019, across 100 cruise trips, accounting for about 1 percent of world river cruises. Market

However, this part of tourism has also been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic and is now looking for a revival.

The global river cruise market has grown by about 5 percent in the last few years and is expected to make up about 37 percent of the cruise market by 2027.

Europe The Danube River in Europe and the Yangtze River in China dominate the global river cruise market, with about 60 percent of the world’s river cruise ships.

“We are working on a comprehensive national tourism policy to promote the tourism industry. It will bring together key stakeholders, including various state governments, ”Reddy said.

Calling on international cruise operators to invest in the domestic cruise tourism industry, the Union Tourism Minister said the government would provide all necessary facilities for setting up business here.

“We need to focus on both domestic and international tourism. This is the time for us to work together and explore the potential of tourism in the country, “said the Minister.

He said India would be hosting the G23 summit next year, with about 120 conferences expected to be held in different cities across the country, including cruise tourism, adding that “we should seize this opportunity. Branding.” Speaking at the conference, IWAI Chairman Sanjay Bandopadhyay said that the number of river cruises has doubled.

According to Maritime India Vision 2030, out of the 12 ports identified for cruise tourism, infrastructural expectations have been realized in six of its major ports and will be taken up for the remaining six – Kolkata, Porbandar, Ganapatipule, Diu, Somnath, and Konark.

Maritime Vision 2030 talks about significant potential river cruises across national waterways. The connection of river and sea tourism with inland and coastal cities as well as neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand can provide a unique experience to travelers.

The eight MoUs signed on Sunday include a preliminary agreement between IWAI and Heritage River Journey Pvt Ltd, operating under the inter-luxury river cruise brand, from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Bangladesh via Bogibot in Dibrugarh district of Bangladesh and Kolkata. .

Another agreement has been signed between Mumbai Port and Angria Sea Eagle Limited for cooperation, development and promotion of the country’s cruise industry. As part of the initial agreement, the company plans to invest Rs 500 crore over the next five years in the cruise tourism business.

Delhi-based Waterways Laser Tourism Pvt Ltd has signed an MoU with the Chennai Port Authority for home porting of their cruise ships in Chennai for the upcoming cruising season.

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