India Wants to Source Five Million Cruise Passengers by 2020
Published in: Cruise News
The India Cruise Lines Association has released a white paper outlining the future of India’s domestic market, with players targeting five million domestically sourced cruise passengers by 2020.
This white paper has been written with a view to highlight the necessary changes, clarifications in policy and various tax and regulatory laws at the earliest to ensure a level playing field for cruise business in India compared to cruise operators based abroad and to attract investors and other stakeholders to set-up cruise operations in India, according to a statement.
The new group has formed on the heels of Zen Cruises, which announced earlier this week they would enter the Indian market in 2019 with the Pacific Jewel.
Zen Cruises is owned by Essel Group, which has bigger plans than just one ship.
“It is now or never,” said Subhash Chandra, Chairman of ZEE and Essel Group. “The Indian cruise industry should handle five million passengers by 2020. At Essel Group, we have begun cruise business with the commitment to give people a great experience. As an industry leader we feel the proliferation of cruise tourism will bring one million jobs in the next three to four years. We will provide a homegrown alternative for Indians, who are presently going abroad to enjoy cruises.”
INCLA has been formed by leading cruise liners and other stakeholders from around the world with the objective of creating a roadmap for the development of the cruise sector in India and also to highlight various issues being faced by the Indian cruise industry, reforms required to address the said issues and to ensure that reforms are implemented effectively at ground level.
“The ministry has also recently resolved the issues regarding Cabotage laws and will look at the charter of demands from industry stakeholders to resolve them at the earliest to promote cruise tourism,” said Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honorable Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Bombay Port Trust & Chairman, Indian Ports Association, said: “There are been a strategic shift in thinking regarding utilization of ports in India. We are planning to transform ports to support cruise tourism. The government is working very closely and several reforms, including reducing tariffs at five ports including Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi and Chennai have been undertaken.”