By Rajnish Singh
New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Aimed at generating employment opportunities and simultaneously bringing foreign exchange to Lakshadweep, a proposal for cruise tourism has been prepared by the Union Territory (UT) government to match the model already being facilitated for tourists in Maldives and Mauritius.
In its proposal, the UT administration has informed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding its plan for fabrication of a dedicated tourist ship in the islands.
The Lakshadweep administration has also prepared a draft policy for promotion and tourism in the UT along with the proposal for the Cruise tourism, which refers to holidays that are entirely or partly based on a cruise ship.
Cruise tourism enables tourists to experience a multi-centre holiday, whereby they spend time at various destinations throughout their trip on cruise ships that vary from small yachts to mega ships and can take place on the ocean and rivers.
Cruise tourism can be defined as a luxurious form of travelling, involving an all-inclusive holiday on a cruise ship of at least 48 hours, with a set and specific itinerary, in which the cruise ship calls at several ports or cities.
The Home Ministry’s ‘action taken’ report accessed by IANS says that “the Lakshadweep administration attaches utmost importance to cruise line tourism in the islands.”
“To develop cruise tourism in islands, Lakshadweep administration has prepared a proposal for fabrication of a dedicated tourist ship. Lakshadweep administration has also prepared a draft policy for promotion and tourism in the UT.”
The documents were shared with the Standing Committee on Home Affairs which earlier recommended the Ministry to develop tourism in Lakshadweep on the development model adopted by Maldives and Mauritius, both of which focus on high-end and low-volume luxury tourism, along with continuing the current cruise-based tourism approach.
The document further reveals that the Lakshadweep administration is promoting eco-friendly low volume-high-end tourism in the islands, so as to develop tourism in a systematic manner by protecting the fragile ecosystem and environment.
It is also mentioned that Lakshadweep administration has taken note of the limitations of the tourism development and is “avoiding mass tourism as a conscious policy”.
As part of this policy, the Ministry said Lakshadweep has developed eco-friendly resorts in the islands of Kavarati, Kadmat, Minicoy, Kalpeni and uninhabited Bangaram island.
“Tourism projection under the guideline of NITI Aayog are under consideration in Kadmat, Minicoy and uninhabited Sushil islands.”
Also, the Ministry said, Lakshadweep plans to develop eco-friendly Tent Resorts at the Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra islands.
By Rajnish Singh