Cruise shipping to be introducted in a big way

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New Delhi, June 26 (UNI) India will now go the Caribbean way with cruise shipping as a major tourist attraction and foreign exchange earner.

The Union Cabinet today gave approval for adoption of Cruise Shipping Policy of India.

''Cruise shipping will showcase India as a major source and destination of world tourism, and generate enormous employment opportunities,'' Minister of State in the PMO Prithiraj Chavan told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

Cruise tourism will also promote people-to-people contact which will enhance India's friendly ties with foreign countries.

It would spill out growth in diverse sectors, thereby earning precious foreign exhange for the country.

The industry annually generates 14 billion dollars worldwide and enjoys a passenger base of more than ten million, which is expected to almost double by 2009.

India's share at present is only two per cent, with cruise tourism available only at a few places such as Cochin and Goa.

UNI YJ PK PM1510

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