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India is seeking to boost its cruise tourism. It aims to attract 4 million cruise tourists by 2041, up from 300,000 in 2023.

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India recorded a cruise tourism footfall of 470,000 in the 2023-24 financial year – its highest ever. Domestic tourists accounted for nearly 80% of this, as international cruise tourism in India has yet to revive to pre-Covid levels. 

In 2019-20, the international and domestic tourists were roughly equal out of the 420,000 cruise passengers. 

Popularity of cruise tourism in India: While efforts are on to revive international tourism in the segment, there is an increase in popularity of cruises among domestic tourists. Compared to 2019-20, domestic tourists have increased by nearly 85%. Indian tourists are also key for the cruise industry in countries such as Singapore, while Abu Dhabi is also seeking to attract Indian tourists to its cruise offerings. 

India’s efforts to boost cruise tourism: India is seeking to boost its cruise tourism. During the G20 Summit last year, secretary of tourism V Vidhyavathi had said that India is aiming to attract 4 million cruise tourists by 2041, up from around 300,000 in 2023. 

For this, a draft national strategy for tourism has also been formulated with the aim of making India a preferred cruising destination across deep sea cruises, coastal cruises, river cruises, and yacht cruises.

While cruise lines such as Cordelia Cruises and Costa Cruise are currently operating domestic cruises in the Arabian Sea, the government is also looking to develop river cruise tourism with an investment of INR 450 billion ($5.4 billion). 

Europe Introduces New Schengen Visa Rules for Indians

The European Commission has introduced a new visa “cascade” regime for Indians when applying for the Schengen visas. The regime aims to offer longer, multi-entry Schengen visas to Indian tourists. 

Speaking to industry players, Skift reported that while multi-year visas with longer durations were already offered to Indians, there was no standard policy in this regard. This new policy is likely to make the issuing of such visas more standardized across all Schengen states. 

However, this new regime is not likely to speed up the visa processing times, which is currently posing to be a major challenge for Indians as they gear up for their summer travels. 

India’s First Bullet Train to Run in 2026

India is set to get its first bullet train in 2026, said Indian railways minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The minister said that the construction work for various stations on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train route has been progressing well. 

The maiden bullet train corridor in India will cover a distance of 508 km, of which work has been completed on more than 290 km. Initially slated for completion in August 2022, the project ran into delays over land surveys and acquisition. 

IHCL Had Put Its Gateway Brand in ‘Cold Storage. Now It’s Back 

Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) announced on Wednesday that it would be bringing back its Gateway brand from “cold storage.” It will be a reimagined version: A full-service hotel offering in the upscale segment.

Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and CEO of IHCL, called the brand an ideal fit to capture growth opportunities in emerging markets in metros and Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. He said the rollout will commence with 15 hotels in Bekal and Nashik this quarter followed by destinations like Bengaluru, Thane and Jaipur.

IHCL has also announced the opening of Vivanta Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. The 95-key hotel is the company’s first Vivanta property in the city. Apart from this, IHCL operates a Ginger in Jamshedpur, making these the only two hotels the company has in the state of Jharkhand. 

IHCL currently has a portfolio of 310 hotels, of which 90 are under development. It is looking to open an average of two hotels every month in the 2024-25 financial year. In 2023-24, IHCL witnessed a record number of openings, and its portfolio grew 19% in one year. 

Corona India Launches Sunset View Rating System For Luxury Hotel Rooms… Wait, What?

Corona India has introduced a sunset view rating system for luxury hotel rooms, the world’s first one. Currently piloting at a few hotel properties across India, the system aims to ensure that the sunset views from hotel rooms in luxury properties are in line with what they were advertised to be. The ratings will be granted on a five-point scale on the basis of various parameters such as location, wind speed, AQI, and cloud cover.

Sun tourism is becoming a popular trend among travelers as people are flocking towards different destinations specifically to view the sunrise or sunset views. Kanniyakumari has a sunset point, which is a very popular tourist attraction. Apart from this, Manali and Rishikesh are also key destinations that travelers visit in order to enjoy the view of the sun. 


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Tags: costa cruises, cruise, cruise industry, cruise lines, cruises, domestic leisure travel, hotels, Indian Hotels Company, leisure travel, schengen, tourism, train stations, Travel Trends, visa

Photo credit: Compared to 2019-20, domestic tourists have increased by nearly 85%. Pixabay from Pexels

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