Cruise tourism footfall at highest-ever 4.7 lakh in 2023-24

NEW DELHI: Cruise tourism in India has hit a new high with footfall touching 4.7 lakh in 2023-24, higher than the pre-pandemic period. Interestingly, govt data showed that the share of domestic tourists had increased by almost 85% compared to 2019-20, indicating how domestic cruise tourism is becoming popular in the country.
As per govt data, the share of domestic and international cruise tourists was almost 50-50 in 2019-20 when the total footfall was a little over 4.2 lakh.During the pandemic year, there was no footfall as services stopped. In 2021-22, domestic cruise footfall revived, but there were no international tourists.
Data showed that while domestic cruise footfall increased to almost 4 lakh in 2022-23, the number of international tourists was barely 29,026. In the last financial year, international tourist footfall increased more than three-fold to touch 98,344. “There is a huge opportunity in this sector. Several steps have been taken, including guaranteed berths to cruise ships over others, concessional and uniform rationalised berthing rate for all major ports, e-visa and on-arrival visa facilities and single e-landing card introduced that’s valid for all ports in cruise itinerary,” a source said.
Officials said there were regular calls by international cruise ships in Mumbai, Goa, New Mangaluru and Kochi ports. Domestic cruises were operational from Sep 2021 on Mumbai-Goa, Mumbai-Diu, Mumbai-Kochi, Mumbai-Lakshadweep, Mumbai-High Seas and Chennai-Vizag routes. Moreover, nine waterways are in operation for river cruise tourism, including Varanasi-Haldia stretch of Ganga and Dhubri-Sadiya stretch of Brahmaputra.
Govt also plans to develop theme-based tourist circuits like Gujarat pilgrimage tours, west coast cultural and scenic tours, south coast ayurvedic wellness tours and east coast heritage tours.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *