Keen on promoting cruise tourism in the country, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said talks are on with Singapore to strengthen ties in the sector and develop facilities at multiple locations for the same.
Singapore's Minister for Communication and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran has called on Gadkari here today.
"India offers vast opportunities in the field of cruise tourism to Singapore... developing cruise tourism will be a win-win situation for both the countries," Union Transport and Shipping Minister Gadkari said after the meeting.
He said both the nations have agreed to strengthen cooperation in this regard and discussions took place for developing cruise tourism at multiple locations including Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Puducherry and Chennai.
Singapore showed interest in developing inland container depot as well as greenfield cities at ports, he said.
"We also discussed mutual cooperation in port development, Ganga cleaning and investment in cities of Maharashtra," the minister said.
India, with a 7,500 km of coastline, has taken several steps to promote cruise tourism that includes relaxation of policies and roping in global consultants.
He had earlier said that a policy was in making to put India on the global cruise map -- both for oceans and rivers -- which is seen to create about 2.5 lakh jobs and boost growth.
India saw 1.76 lakh cruise passengers in 2016-17, a merely 0.5 per cent of the global pie. Domestic cruise passengers are estimated to grow to 1.5 million by 2031-32.
Of the 12 major ports, only five -- Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, New Mangalore and Chennai -- have facilities to berth international cruise ships.