Mumbai to host India's first international cruise conference

The two-day conference will showcase abundant business opportunities in the country's cruise tourism sector
Last Updated : 22 April 2022, 03:03 IST

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Giving a boost to the shipping and tourism sector together, India would host the first-ever Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 in May, months ahead of the commissioning of the iconic cruise terminal in Mumbai.

The Mumbai Port Authority (MPA) would host the event in India’s financial capital on May 14-15.

It may be mentioned that the first-of-its-kind of iconic sea cruise terminal would be commissioned by Mumbai by July 2024.

"Globally India is gearing up to be a magnificent cruise destination and capture this growing market. Indian cruise market has the potential to grow by ten times over the next decade driven by rising demands and disposable incomes,” Union minister for ports, shipping, and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said.

He also launched the event's website www.iiicc2022.in and unveiled the event logo and mascot named 'Captain Cruzo' for the event.

The two-day conference will showcase abundant business opportunities in the country's cruise tourism sector with an aim to first showcase India as a desired destination for cruise passengers, highlight the regional connectivity, promote the building of new destinations and attractions like lighthouses and disseminate information about India's preparedness for developing the cruise tourism sector.

The conference will be important for promoting cruise tourism in India so that the country can take leadership in this sector globally, he stated.

"Cruise tourism is one the most vibrant and fast-growing components of the leisure industry. India did have a promising start in 2017 when the first international cruise stopped in India at the Mumbai port, where over 1,800 passengers experienced their first international voyage from an Indian port. Since then, cruise tourism in India has increased manifold. In 2017-18, 238 cruise ships called on ports in India with 1.76 lakh passengers,” Sonowal said.

The largest ship 'Spectrum of the Seas' visited Mumbai Port in 2019. However, the Covid pandemic and the resulting suspension of business in 2020 caused a major blow to the cruise industry.

Talking about the international cruise terminal in Indira Dock in Mumbai, he said, “It is one of the next steps forward".

The terminal will have a capacity of handling 200 ships and a million passengers per annum. The project cost is Rs 490 crores, out of which Rs 303 crores will be incurred by Mumbai Port Authority and the remaining will be borne by private operators.

Sonowal further said that the Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030, launched in March 2021, in its ten years growth map gives significant emphasis on promoting and developing ocean, coastal and river cruises along with lighthouse development.

"The plan is estimated to create above two lakh new jobs and meet the expectations of the cruise visitors and the cruise industry and also provide momentum for infrastructure development," he added.

The conference will also highlight ports like Mumbai, Goa, Kochi, New Mangalore, and Lakshadweep on the west coast and Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, and Andaman ports on the east coast as cruise hubs of the nation.

At the same time, the conference will focus on creating an enabling and conducive environment for the cruise-liners to exchange views with the government authorities in the region.

Additional deployment of cruise vessels to India on a long-term basis will be encouraged, with a focus on the domestic cruise potential of the country, which is estimated to grow up to 40 million by 2042. In this context, generating opportunities for small cruise building businesses, income generation for tour operators, employment for youth and skill development through institutional frameworks in this sector will be highlighted.

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Published 22 April 2022, 03:03 IST

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