Indian National/ Domestic Affairs Travel

Advisory panel to assist task force on cruise tourism: Sonowal

Mumbai : Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday said that an advisory committee will be constituted to assist the task force set up to promote cruise tourism in India. In 2017, a task force was formed jointly by the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Shipping with representatives of all major ports and stakeholders for coordinated efforts to create an enabling ecosystem for the development of cruise tourism in India. “Under my ministry, we have decided to set up a special high level advisory committee that will assist the task force in creating an enabling eco-system for development of cruise tourism in the country,” Sonowal told reporters on the sidelines of the first ‘Incredible India International Cruise Conference’ in Mumbai. He further said that the committee will comprise government officials as well as representatives from leading national and international cruise industry players. “These members will give suggestions and ideas to the task force. Our aim is to promote cruise tourism as of the largest industries going forward,” he added. Sonowal further said that the government and his ministry are committed to provide all the necessary assistance to ensure the industry flourishes. “In 2017, cruise tourism kick started well. But due to the Covid pandemic it was impacted. However, we are expecting it to pick up pace once again, and the government will provide all the necessary assistance to develop and modernize infrastructure for cruise tourism, ” he added. Earlier in the day, while addressing the conference, Sonowal said that Indian cruise market has the potential to grow 10 folds over the next decade, driven by rising demand and disposable incomes. “The government of India realizes this potential and is determined to position India as a global cruise hub with state-of-art infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises,” he said. During the event, the Minister also laid the foundation stone for the third chemical berth at Pir Pau Jetty of Mumbai Port Authority to handle chemicals including LPG. The berth is expected to have a rated capacity of 2 mtpa and cater to very large gas carriers and tankers up to 72,500 displacement tonnage. Sonowal also inaugurated Kel Lighthouse in Ratnagiri district. 

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