With almost 10 to 12 times the growth projected in cruise tourism, Rajiv Jalota, Chairperson, Mumbai Port Trust claims that new and big vessels will come along.
Rajiv Jalota shares that domestic cruising in India will be on the rise and how the country is building the right infrastructure for this sector to grow. Cruise tourism was growing before COVID-19 and 2019-20 was the peak year in India.
However, he believes that cruising has a bright future because India formulated the masterplan for cruise tourism, which is divided into three parts: Ocean cruising, river cruising, and island and lighthouse tourism. “By 2042-43, almost a growth of more than 10 to 12 times with 40 lakh cruise passengers is predicted, of which international passengers would be in the range of 6 to 7 lakh, and over 20 lakh will be domestic cruise passengers. Hence, now our focus needs to be on the domestic cruise, as from an infrastructure point of view, it has more potential. It would need smaller vessels and less infrastructural availability. For both international and domestic cruises, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), in collaboration with MOT, has focussed on developing six ports as cruise destinations, including Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, and Visakhapatnam. All ministries are working together to put good SOPs in place and make cruise operations more efficient,” he says
Working in tandem
With almost 10 to 12 times the growth projected in cruise in the coming years, Jalota claims that new and big vessels will come along. “This would require facilities and ecosystem development. It is the right time to tap
this market as many cruise vessels are in the doldrums and looking for latent markets like India where there is paying capacity and some minimum level of infrastructure of a certain standard. Both MoPSW and MOT are pitching in with adequate funds under Sagarmala. With more ideas regarding locations and kinds of investment from the industry, this
sector can pick up, result in employment generation, and other indirect benefits can accrue. We need to work as partners, as this is the right time,” he suggests.
“There were 4.67 lakh cruise passengers on 451 cruise calls, which was way beyond the 2.2 lakh passengers”
QUICK BYTE All ministries are working together to put good SOPs in place and operations cost effective