Govt unveils reforms to revolutionise cruise tourism in India

File photo of the Mumbai Port Trust's Genting Dream cruise ship anchored in Mumbai, prior to its maiden voyage from the city. (Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar)
In order to promote cruise tourism, the central government on Monday announced a slew of reforms to revolutionise the industry which has a high employment generation potential, by simplifying the rules and procedures for cruise port operations.

The reforms are based on the recommendations of a global consultant engaged by the Ministry of Shipping to draw up an action plan for providing a customer-friendly and hassle-free logistics process for the cruise tourism industry, besides developing an enabling ecosystem necessary to promote and sustain cruise shipping in India.

Some of the recommendations given by the consultant that can be immediately implemented include a single-window system for all pre-cruise requirements of operators like the entry of vehicles, personnel and guides. The consultant has also suggested shifting to a digital system for checking of registration and license papers of vehicles at each time.

Building separate approach roads to cruise terminals and providing uniform and consistent security procedures at all ports were also among the proposed recommendations. 

Providing adequate security and access points to the port for overnight passengers and a one-time security check system for all passengers were also suggested.

The use of technology for clearances was also deemed as the perfect alternative to the existing manual process, which is usually time-consuming.

A committee has been set up to work out the modalities and requirements for implementing the above recommendations in a time-bound manner, an official statement said.

The consultant was also asked to suggest five potential cruise circuits for international, domestic and river cruise, that can be immediately taken up for development. It has also been tasked with the responsibility of preparing a techno-economic feasibility report (TEFR) for these circuits, the statement added.

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