Cruise tourism to be growth driver for India’s economy: Gadkari
Jun 28, 2017: Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that cruise tourism is one of the fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide, and can be a major growth driver for the Indian economy by generating huge employment opportunities. Gadkari was speaking at the National Workshop on “Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India”, in New Delhi recently. The workshop was also attended by Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) Dr Mahesh Sharma, and representatives of all stakeholder organizations — both from the government and the private sector — including regulatory agencies which deal with issues impacting cruise tourism.
Pointing out that tourism has the highest investment to employment multiplier, Gadkari said that on an average, employment generation on a cruise ship is 1 job for 3–4 passengers. With India having the potential to cater to 700 cruise ships per year as against 158 handled this year, the cruise industry can generate more than 2.5 lakh jobs for ten lakh cruise passengers, giving a big boost to the country’s economy. He further informed that cruise terminals are being developed at five major ports — Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Mangalore and Chennai. In addition, the transport potential of 111 inland waterways will also be tapped. Work will start for developing ten inland waterways by the end of this year. This includes the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra on which work is already in progress, he informed.
Gadkari called upon state governments also to play an active role in promoting cruise tourism by developing, packaging and marketing their tourist attractions to draw more and more tourists.
The Ministry of Shipping has been working with all relevant ministries and organizations of the government to promote cruise tourism in the country. A joint task force headed by Secretary Shipping and Secretary Tourism was constituted for the purpose, and a global consultant was engaged for drawing up an Action Plan. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the action plan which requires various arms of the Government to take action for creating an enabling business eco-system for growth of cruise tourism in the country.
Originally published at www.itln.in on June 28, 2017.