The travel and tourism industry witnessed a sharp decline owing to the global crisis that is the spread of the pandemic. With travel coming to a near standstill due to coronavirus restrictions, domestic/local travel and tourism will substitute the foreign tourism demand at the moment.
For the Indian Travel Industry, the next big opportunity is right here at home. Our country is a treasure trove of unexplored gems that are sure to excite every kind of traveller, making domestic tourism a gold mine of possibilities. Domestic Cruise Tourism offers the biggest scope for the Indian travel industry. In lieu of the pandemic, we are witnessing global travel restrictions and with it, changing consumer preferences, which means now is the perfect time to tap into domestic tourism.
Owing to the problems caused due to the pandemic, the tourism ministry assured that they would help speed up tourism activities and make India a popular destination post-COVID- 19 era. The tourism ministry has already started involving stakeholders such as travel influencers and travel media to understand how they can promote ‘Incredible India’ as well as cater and keep the travelling audience safe. Our Government has also identified an opportunity within the domestic cruise industry and has taken necessary steps to propel it forward in major ways. In an effort to promote cruise tourism, the Shipping Ministry reduced the port tariff rates, ranging from 60% to 70% as well as rationalized tariff rates for Cruise vessels. This reduction will not only make domestic cruising more affordable to Indians but will also attract International cruise companies in terms of home-porting ships in India for itineraries sailing to neighbouring countries via Indian ports. Additionally, fuel prices have also been drastically reduced and we hope they will continue to remain at this level.
Exciting new destinations
With limitations for international travel, one will have to largely depend on domestic tourism, which is likely to catalyse recovery of the country’s economy. Domestic tourism is on the rise as people are looking at exploring new destinations, closer to home. Being geographically blessed the Indian coastlines are nothing short of a tropical paradise, and our nation boasts some of the most beautiful islands of the world and this is paving way for a rise in demand for cruise travel within the country.
Indian’s usually tend to travel with larger families and groups, which is why tourists are always on the lookout for family-friendly vacations in which every member of the family enjoys. Cruising through the gorgeous seas of India is the perfect choice for such travellers.
Promising Job opportunities
With the consistent growth of the Indian cruise industry, we are looking at the chance to create a million jobs within the country. Right from staff on the ship, including the crew, service staff, and entertainers, to marketing and travel agents onshore, empowering local communities, the options are tremendous.
Domestic cruise- the most exciting way to experience India
The typical Indian traveller is a dynamic one. There are those that travel for adventure, some who want to spend quality time with family, and others who are looking for a romantic getaway. Either way, Indians are now seeking to explore more than ever before. To give it to you in terms of numbers, every year, there are around 200 million holidays from India. Around just 2% of that is enough to fill 10 cruise ships for 5 years. That is the opportunity we are looking at. With numbers like that, it seems more than apparent that a domestic cruise is the most exciting way to experience our country.
Cruise- A safe haven
Overall, the ship, in general, is the cleanest environment making it a safe haven. The only way the virus can enter the vessel is through its passengers, who are also tested before entering. On-board, people are in a fixed environment. Additionally, to take care of the situation, cruise companies are putting appropriate controlled measures of thermal checking and other relevant parameters throughout the passenger journey, from embarkation to disembarkation to ensure utmost safety. Hospital-standard sanitization is observed on board the vessel, making deep sanitization a must, before- during and after each cruise. To maintain social distancing, guests will be expected to book slots for restaurants and theatres, so the number of guests can be managed appropriately therefore avoiding overcrowded spaces.
Despite a global pandemic, there has never been a better time for Domestic Cruise Tourism. Our culture of Atithi Devo Bhava will encourage countrymen to explore their country in a post COVID era. We know that sailing on a cruise ship has been on your bucket list for a while, and now, it’s time to turn that dream into reality.