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'Cruise Shipping' is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide. It is fast emerging as a new marketable product. India with its vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and undisturbed idyllic islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, can be a fabulous tourist destination for cruise tourists. With the Indian economy developing at a steady pace, middle class growing in number and increasingly possessing disposal incomes which could be spent on leisure activities, Indians could also take on cruise shipping in a big way.
The Cruise Shipping Policy of the Ministry of Shipping was approved by the Government of India on 26th June, 2008. The objective of the policy is to make India as an attractive cruise tourism destination with the state-of-the-art infrastructural and other facilities at various parts in the country; to attract the right segment of the foreign tourists to cruise shipping in India; to popularize cruise shipping with Indian tourists. The Ministry of Tourism has accordingly included promotion of Cruise Shipping under its "New initiatives".
A Steering Committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary (Shipping) that would act as a nodal body to address all issues regarding Cruise Tourism. Joint Secretary, Ministry ot Tourism is the Member Secretary of this Committee.
The Ministry of Tourism through its various schemes for Central Financial Assistance for development of tourism infrastructure in the country supports initiatives like infrastructure development of port, purchase of ferries,development of river cruise circuits, etc.