India looks to visa-free and luxury cruises to improve its tourism economy. Travellers from Dubai or Singapore can head to the country via one of the 7 new luxury cruises that would allow luxury travellers visit different Indian cities as part of new global cruise circuit. India also raises ban against Bangladeshi travel Visas to India to further promote tourism.
According to Times of India, Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari intends to promote reforms that would "promote cruise tourism" in India's major rivers such as Ganga and Sagarmala. The minister said to improve Indian cruise tourism, there will be a need to develop industrial clusters, port-rail and port-roads and the "mechanization and modernization" of India's ports. In entirety, the Sagarmala project would cost around Rs12 Lakh Crore ($176m) in total.
Cruise liners sail seldomly to Indian cities due to poor port infrastructure. Cruise ships are also wary of poor cruise policy making India unavailable as a cruise "home port." About a hundred cruise ships reach one of India's ports and leave immediately after passengers disembark given the said deficiencies. Shipping Minister Gadkari intends to make these cruise ships stay to allow tourists to visit Indian cities.
To improve its tourism economy further in general, Bangladeshi Visas - once banned - will now allow travelers with tickets to submit Visa applications without having to set appointments. According to First Post, the Indian High Commission intends to "streamline, liberalize and ease the process of securing Indian Visas" for Bangladesh travelers. Air, train and bus ticket buyers in Balngladesh can submit their tourist visa applications without having to schedule an appointment starting January 2017.
India is home to Mumbai - the "Bollywood" entertainment central of the country. Aside from urbanized cities such as New Dellhi, Jaipur and Hyderabad, rural locations such as Anjuna, Kovalam and Varkala are popular among international tourists for their tropical beaches. Rural locations such as Ayodhya and Dwarka are popular for their ancient Indian heritage structures and spiritual meditation temples.
Source: Times of India