The ministry of tourism (MoT) has identified cruise tourism as one of the niche tourism products considering it as one of the growing areas of travel to the country
ETW Staff – Mumbai
The ministry of tourism (MoT) 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. MoT has also constituted a task force for promotion of cruise tourism with representatives of all major stakeholders. This information was given by Dr Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for culture and tourism in the Rajya Sabha recently.
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Following the recommendations of the task force, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for cruise vessels has been finalised involving the concerned stakeholders and directions in this regard issued by ministry of shipping. The government has also taken following steps to promote cruise tourism in the country:
- Foreign flag vessels carrying passengers have been allowed to call at Indian Ports for a period of 10 years with effect from February 6, 2009, without obtaining licence from Director General of Shipping
- Port Level Committees have been constituted to address manpower, coordination and logistic issues for handling cruise vessels at ports
- 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 homeports.