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India Records Major Increase In Cruise Tourism Visitors between 2002-2006

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

09 September 2008

India's Union Tourism Secretary announced at Monday's conference on ‘Initiative on Furthering Cruise Tourism In India’ that India recorded a 310% increase in cruise tourism visitors between 2002-2006.

“Worldwide, tourism has emerged as a key player in development strategies," Mr Banjeree announced at the conference, going on to explain:

"Appropriately leveraged, the tourism sector has high potential for delivering sustainable growth with equity while ensuring economic progress. As per projections of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for 2008, the contribution of tourism to world GDP and employment were at 9.9% and 8.4% respectively. World tourism, measured in terms of foreign tourist arrivals, grew at 6.6% in 2007 as compared to 5.5% in 2006. In absolute terms, international tourist arrivals in 2007 reached 903 million.

"Concomitantly, international tourism receipts grew at 15.4% in 2007 to reach USD856 billion. The Asia & Pacific region outperformed the rest of the world in 2007 recording a growth of 10.4% in international tourist arrivals and 20.7% in international tourism receipts.

"Within the Asia & Pacific region, India surpassed the regional average in terms of growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) and Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE). While arrivals grew at 14.3%, receipts from tourism increased at 24.3% in 2007. In absolute terms, 5.08 million foreign tourists visited India and spent USD10.73bn in 2007. The share of tourism in India’s GDP and employment for 2008 have been projected at 6.36% and 10.17% respectively increasing from 5.83% of the GDP and 8.27% of total employment in 2002-2003," he added.

As per estimates of the UNWTO, the Cruise Industry in the world in 2005 was valued at USD15.3bn. It expects to carry in excess of 17 million passengers by 2010, an increase of 70% over 2000 and 54% on 2002.

Cruise tourism is relatively new but an emerging sector. It is a niche market and is primarily associated with hospitality and entertainment with great potential for stimulating economic growth and generating additional employment.

Cruise tourism is a capital intensive industry and the strategic deployment of vessels is driven by the need to maximize yields.

More than 50% of the global cruise fleet was designated for European, North American and Caribbean cruising with Asia accounting for a relatively smaller market share of 7% (of the global fleet).

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