Indian tourism is gearing up to challenge some of the world leaders in cruise tourism by introducing seaborne cruises along its historic coast line within a year.
“Within a year, cruises will operate along the coast of India to match those of Royal Caribbean,” said RH Kwaja, secretary, Ministry of Tourism, at a packed conference in London. “India already has many riverboat cruises. But we are seeing great potential along the 7000km plus coast line of India. Very soon we will see the first seaborne cruise along the coast of India.”
The coast line of India is dotted with several historic spots and major ports such as Kandla, Mumbai, Navasheva, Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Tuticorin, Vishakapatnam, and Paradip.
Coast line of Indian mainland is surrounded by Arabian Sea in the west, Bay of Bengal in the east, and Indian Ocean in the south. The coastline of India includes the coastlines of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshwadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.
Kwaja along with Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed and Devesh Chaturvedi, additional director general of India Tourism, were spearheading a series of road shows organised by the Indian chapter of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in the UK and Ireland. The events at London, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and Dublin attracted senior politicians and leading members from the travel industry. BBC former sports editor Mihir Bose introduced Indian delegation to the British audience.
The focus of the road shows is to make India a round the year destination, with visit to the historic cities like Delhi and Agra in the Winter, in addition to Kashmir in the Spring.
The road shows were organised as a prelude to the forthcoming World Travel Market at Excel in London. Indian Tourism occupies one of the largest pavilions in the exhibition.