Mumbai has been officially declared as
the Hub of country’s Cruise Tourism Industry according to an official release.
Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has identified several sites at the west coast
Metropolis for development to attract foreign tourists at a high level meeting
held last week
The Minister has declared Mandwa as the Wellness
Destination and Marine Drive as the hub for Water Sports according to an
official release. With the adjacent JNPT becoming the leader of container
activity in the country, Mumbai is being redeveloped as Cruise hub
The Union Minister formulated the
country’s Cruise Tourism Action Plan was chairing an interactive session of
various stakeholders of the travel and tourism trade in Mumbai last week. Union
Minister of State for Tourism K.J.Alphonse was also present at the session.
Officials of Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra
Tourism Development Corporation and Tourism Department of Maharashtra
Government held detailed deliberations with representatives from the tourism and
travel industry. The Action Plan that has emerged from these deliberations focusses
on developing identified sites as attractive tourist destinations and
generating awareness about them both within the country and abroad; ensuring
cleanliness and operational efficiency.
As Mumbai would be the hub of Cruise
Tourism in the country, it was decided in the meeting that areas like Sassoon
Dock and Sewree Fort in the city, and nearby areas like KanhojiAngre Island,
Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg, would be developed as attractive tourist
In order to attract tourists, water
sports activities are being planned around the Marine Drive area. Events like
Ferrari Formula 1 and Grand Prix are also on the anvil. Mandwa is to be developed as a Wellness
Destinations with facilities for activities like Yoga and Meditation to be
developed in land belonging to Mumbai Port. Restaurants and other tourist
attractions will be developed in the Mumbai Port area in and around the DCT.
The State Tourism Department will arrange reception activities like cultural
shows for cruise arrivals.
The Action Plan lays a lot of emphasis on
publicizing the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through
regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. In case of Mumbai, this
would involve Mumbai Port Trust’s participation in Overseas Travel Mart to
showcase its tourism projects. Bollywood will be allowed to shoot in the
ICT/DCT/ Water Front of Mumbai Port. Travel agencies will publicize Mumbai-Goa
cruise and the Floating Restaurant at Gateway of India and GirgaumChowpatty as
tourist attractions for people of Mumbai and outside.
The expensive Mumbai will also be
highlighted among foreigners as an attractive wedding destination. Tourist
Information Stands will be set up to provide information to tourists about the
various attractions and amenities at the destination. The staff providing
information should be professional, have good knowledge about the destination,
be proficient in English and other languages. Training will be organized for
interpreters to handle foreign tourists.
Drawing attention to the need for
cleanliness and operational efficiency, the Action Plan says that cleanliness
of tourist areas, roadways, sidewalks, venues and beaches has to be ensured.
SOPs need to be developed allowing operational efficiency, revenue options and
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 for cruise vessels berthing in Indian ports, Discount of 42-66 per
cent allowed in Port Charges
Simplified Standard Operating Procedures
issued for processes to be observed by multiple agencies like port authorities,
Customs, Immigration, Security, State Govt, Ship Agents, Tour Operators, E-Landing
card system is ready for ease of travelling among Indian ports, E- visa
introduced for online and on arrival visa facilities
Cabotage laws have beenwaived for foreign
cruise vessels on Indian shores enabling passengers to board the vessel at
Indian Ports for voyage along Indian shores, Cruise terminal in Mumbai being
upgraded with more passenger amenities, New cruise terminals to be constructed
though no sites have been identified.
Reputed consultant appointed by Shipping
Ministry to draw up a road map for CruiseTourism in India. They have projected
that the number of tourists is likely to go up to 4.5 million by 2042-43.