Port Wings News Network:
Traditionally ports in India are segments for trade and modes of transport for cargoes, but world over many countries are thriving on tourism as an important ingredient of economy, Dr. E. Ramesh Kumar, IAS Chairman, Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), has said.
Addressing the dignitaries and delegates of the ‘Sensitisation Workshop on Cruise Tourism’ held at Mormugao Port Trust jointly under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, and Momugao Port Trust, Ramesh Kumar said, “The very thought of tourism is changing, the simple reason being that better connectivity has brought an overall change and we are able to reach places. The important word in cruise tourism is the experience one would accrue from that. It is the wholesome impact that one carries right from time one boards the cruise vessel till the time one disembarks. Goa in India is a citadel for tourism in India and it has its own uniqueness about its natural beauty.”
The Regional Director, (Western Region), India Tourism Mumbai, Smt. Neela Lad was also present at the workshop.
Speaking further on cruise tourism, Dr. E. Ramesh Kumar said “There is a tremendous increase in the cruise tourism calls at Mormugao Port during the last five years. We have touched around 102 cruise calls in the just ended financial year, and I can assure you the figures will double in the coming year. The cruise passenger arrivals were around 70,000 to 80,000 during the just concluded season. I am confident the figures will touch to around 1.5 lakhs in the current year. I can assure you that with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and the enthusiasm of the Ministry of Shipping, we will set up a state of the art cruise terminal”.
Dr. E. Ramesh Kumar thanked the Regional Director, Smt. Neela Lad for the initiative taken by her to hold this very important workshop on cruise tourism in Goa and for her personal presence at the day-long workshop.
Smt. Neela Lad, gave a presentation on ‘Importance and benefits of cruise tourism’. In her presentation she laid emphasis on the growth and future of international cruise tourism in India and Goa. She said ‘Cruise tourism helps the state to strengthen its economy, and is an employable opportunity for manpower in different segments. The Government is helping the ports to provide facilities to give a boost to cruise tourism since there is tremendous potential in this sector. Cruise tourism needs five main services to work in tandem with each other Viz., the Port, Port authorities, Customs, Immigration and the Security. If these five services work together cruise tourism can be at its best.”
The day long workshop received overwhelming response from the important stakeholders from the Cruise Tourism industry in the state of Goa. Central Government Agencies like the Customs & Central Excise, Bureau of Immigration, CISF, and the senior Officers of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, Goa Police, Shri Agnelo Fernandes Additional Collector, (South) Government of Goa, Travel Agencies, and Shipping Agents were present at the workshop.
Experts and professionals from Mumbai and other parts of the country drawn from the Customs, CISF, BOI, Tourism, Port authorities discussed and debated important issues with graphic presentations related to cruise tourism in Goa, among them were; Shri Sanjeev Sardessai noted historian, Shri Jerome Clement Sr. Dy. Traffic Manager, Shiv Kumar Kumavat Asst. Commandant CISF, Cyrus Irani & Shri Sithart Shah Bureau of Immigration Mumbai, Shri Luis Fernandes, Goa Customs, and Shailesh Thakur.
The sessions focused on improving the inter-agency coordination and simplification of procedures in order to provide a hassle free experience to the discerning cruise guests.
Shri Vipin R. Menoth, Traffic Manager MPT, in his concluding remarks while thanking all for their overwhelming participation assured all the delegates and stakeholders present at the workshop that the Port will spare no efforts to provide all the requirements as well as upgrade the port facilities to meet the needs of cruise tourism in the State during the ensuing cruise season so that the industry flourishes in the state of Goa.