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Mumbai to soon become India’s first international cruise destination

4 Sep , 2017  

According to International Consultants Bermello & Ajamil (B&A), India’s already burgeoning cruise industry is expected to grow from 712 crore to 35,500 crore in the next few years

 

Shikha Talwar 

 

On August 8, 2017, Union Minister for shipping, ports and roads of India, Nitin Gadkari unveiled how he and the government of India are working towards making India one of the world’s biggest international and the most attractive cruise destinations. He’s also termed it as ‘India’s economic growth engine.’ The government aims to develop five ports — Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore, Chennai and Kochi as India’s cruise hubs. But for now, the main focus is to revamp Mumbai’s harbour.

The initial planning and development to put India and specially Mumbai on the map began early in 2015. Last year, International Consultants Bermello & Ajamil (B&A) were hired by the government to chart a Road Map for India’s cruise tourism. A report submitted by the agency, highlighted the economic and the employment potential of India’s cruise sector and also cited an increase in the number of passengers, who will board luxury cruise liners and ships docked at the Mumbai port.

 

Image courtesy: Dawn of Cruise Tourism in India report

Image courtesy: Dawn of Cruise Tourism in India report

 

To accommodate this massive inflow of national as well as international travellers, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has undertaken a 197 crore redevelopment project. According to sources, the new Mumbai Port design is going to be modeled after Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s T2 terminal and will also house a lavish shopping complex and multiple restaurants.

 

A proposed design of the new port. Image courtesy: Dawn of Cruise Tourism in India report

A proposed design of the new port. Image courtesy: Dawn of Cruise Tourism in India report

 

From last year, till now, more than 55 ships, each carrying around 60, 000 passengers have halted at the Mumbai Port, however, many would not describe their journey as a very pleasant one, as basic regulatory reforms like e-visas and landing cards for tourists and for cruise ship crew members are yet to be introduced by the government and port authorities. But a lot of other issues regarding taxation and security are already being dealt with by the authorities.

 

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