Sites around Mumbai port to be developed to boost cruise tourism
11 July 2018
The government has identified areas like Sassoon Dock and Sewree Fort in Mumbai city, and nearby areas like Kanhoji Angre Island, Mandwa, Alibaug and Vijaydurg to be developed as attractive tourist destinations as part of the plan to develop Mumbai as the hub of cruise tourism in the country.
The decision was made at a meeting of travel and tourism trade held in Mumbai last week to formulate an action plan for realising the full potential of cruise tourism in the country.
Officials of Mumbai Port Trust, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation and Tourism Department of Maharashtra government held detailed deliberations with representatives from the tourism and travel industry during the meeting, chaired by union minister of shipping, road transport and highways, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.
The identified sites will be developed as attractive tourist destinations and will be promoted within the country and abroad.
In order to attract tourists, water sports activities are being planned around the Marine Drive area.
Mandwa is planned to be developed as a Wellness Destinations with facilities for yoga and meditation centres to be developed in land belonging to Mumbai Port. Restaurants and other tourist attractions will be developed in the Mumbai Port area. The state tourism department will arrange reception activities like cultural shows for cruise arrivals.
The action plan emphasises publicising the tourist destinations within the country and abroad through regular interactive sessions with all stakeholders. In case of Mumbai, this would involve Mumbai Port Trust’s participation in Overseas Travel Mart to showcase its tourism projects. Bollywood will be allowed to shoot in the Water Front of Mumbai Port.
Mumbai will also be highlighted among foreigners as an attractive wedding destination. Tourist Information Stands will be set up to provide information to tourists about the various attractions and amenities at the destination. The staff providing information should be professional, have good knowledge about the destination, and be proficient in English and other languages. Training will be organized for interpreters to handle foreign tourists.
Drawing attention to the need for cleanliness and operational efficiency, the Action Plan says that cleanliness of tourist areas, roadways, sidewalks, venues and beaches has to be ensured. SOPs need to be developed allowing operational efficiency, revenue options and diminished bureaucracy.
Government of India has taken several steps to promote Cruise Tourism in the country. These include:
- Certainty of berth to cruise ships
- Ousting charges removed, thus reducing overall cost;
- Discount of 42-66 per cent allowed in port charges;
- Simplified SOPs issued for processes to be observed by multiple agencies like port authorities, customs, immigration, security, state government, shipping agents, tour operators etc;
- E-Landing card system is ready for ease of travelling among Indian ports;
- E- visa introduced for online and on arrival visa facilities;
- Cabotage waived for foreign cruise vessels enabling passengers to board the vessel at Indian ports for voyage along Indian shores;
- Cruise terminals upgraded with more passenger amenities;
- New cruise terminals to be constructed;