Thursday, July 25, 2024

Port City charts path to become domestic cruise tourism leader

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Visakhapatnam is set to become the frontrunner in domestic cruise tourism, according to Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman of the Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA). In a crucial meeting convened by the VPA on Thursday, Dr Angamuthu outlined an ambitious strategy to leverage the city’s strategic location and rich cultural heritage to attract cruise travellers.
The meeting, attended by prominent stakeholders including the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Forum (APTF), AP Chamber of Commerce, Tours and Travels Association of Andhra (TTAA), and the Federation of Hotels Association of Andhra Pradesh, centered on several crucial topics. Improving port infrastructure, introducing tourist-centric amenities, and promoting Visakhapatnam’s natural beauty and cultural attractions were highlighted as key areas of focus.
District Tourism Information Officer K Gyana Veni emphasised the importance of unified efforts to unlock Visakhapatnam’s potential as a premier cruise tourism hub. K Vijay Mohan, president of the Tours and Travel Association of Andhra (TTAA), expressed optimism about future prospects driven by planned investments in infrastructure and promotional campaigns. He stressed the need for stringent safety standards and sustainable practices to ensure a seamless and responsible tourism experience.
A significant highlight of the meeting was the discussion on establishing a dedicated committee or board for cruise development. Engaging with major cruise lines such as Cordelia, Royal Caribbean, Costa, MSC Cruises, Cunard, Norwegian, Silverseas, Celebrity, Holland America, and Resort World Cruises was identified as a priority. This initiative aims to include Visakhapatnam in their itineraries or relocation plans from Asia to Europe. The urgency of acting swiftly was noted, given that cruise schedules are planned well in advance.

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