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Cruise tourism among most vibrant, fast-growing sectors of travel industry, says Union Minister Reddy

Mumbai: Emphasising the vast potential of river cruise industry in the country, Union Culture and Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy on Sunday said cruise tourism is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing sectors of the leisure and travel industry.

Addressing the 1st Incredible India International Cruise Conference (IIICC) in Mumbai, Reddy said, "We are currently working towards a Comprehensive Indian National Tourism Policy. Cruise tourism will certainly be a priority sector, as it is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing sectors of the leisure and travel industry."

Reddy further said under the ambitious PM GatiShakti National Master Plan, tourism related infrastructure is also being developed with a focus on shipping, river tourism, forest and wildlife tourism.

The minister said the central government has made significant efforts to clean and rejuvenate our rivers including the Namami Gange Project, which can provide a major boost to river-based tourist activities.

Citing upcoming opportunities, the Union Minister said there are around 150 conferences planned at various places in the G-20 countries.

He said, "The promotion of coastal tourism through beach tourism, lighthouse tourism and cruise tourism will help communities such as fishing communities to find other livelihood opportunities and supplement their existing income."

Reddy said that under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned ten projects under coastal thematic circuits worth Rs 648.80 crore across various States /Union Territories. The government has also sanctioned Rs 228.61 crores for various projects on developing cruise terminals and related infrastructure at major ports under the "Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development" scheme.

The first Incredible India International Cruise Conference was organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. Strategies for developing India as a cruise hub, policy initiatives and port infrastructure, potential of river cruise tourism, role of technology in the post-pandemic world were some of the key issues deliberated at the two-day event.

More than 300 delegates representing stakeholders including international and Indian cruiseline operators, investors, industry experts and consultants, senior officials of centre and state governments, ports, maritime boards and tourism boards attended the conference. (ANI)

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