Kerala to launch cruise tourism connecting Kovalam with Goa
Kerala government has announced the launch of cruise tourism connecting major coastal tourist destinations in the state with Mangaluru and Goa.
The state government has sanctioned INR 5 crore for the project based on a draft policy on cruise tourism by the Director of Tourism, a Tourism Department official said.
According to the GO issued by the Tourism Department, the proposed cruise tourism will connect Kovalam, Kollam, Kochi and Beypore in Kerala to Mangaluru and Goa. An expert committee with the Principal Secretary of the Tourism Department as the Chairman has been given a month to submit an amended draft cruise policy after discussions with stakeholders.
The expert committee will have the director of tourism as the convenor, an official from the Kerala Inland Shipping and Navigation department and an official from the Ports department or Kerala Maritime Board as members.
Meanwhile, the tourism industry in the state has welcomed the move and said that it will open a new market for the state. Jose Dominic, former CEO of CGH Earth, welcomed the initiative and said that the water-route is the best way to showcase Kerala before the world. “It opens up the state and its tourism spots to a new big market. There has been no such initiative undertaken in the country before. Once the project gets implemented it will act as an example for others.” he said.
“Thousands will board the cruise ships. And when these people go back and tell their friends and others about their experience, it will raise curiosity about the state and the cruise. This will make others excited about the trip.Actually, it would have been great if a route could be charted right from Kutch to Kanyakumari,” he added.
According to him, unlike the cruise happening at present, wherein large ships carrying thousands arrive at the ports, the route marked by the tourism department would be better served with smaller ships. Rajesh P R, an inbound tour guide said that cruise tourism will boost the tourism industry at all the ports the ship berths. “Kerala has a lot to offer in terms of cruise tourism and it is high time such a project is implemented,” he said. (Source: The New Indian Express)