Luxury Modern River Cruise set to begin between Varanasi and Dibrugarh

Tourism Ministry allocates Rs 648.80 Crores for Ten projects under Coastal Thematic Circuits for boost in cruise tourism

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal and the Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and Development of North-Eastern Region (DONER), Gangapuram Kisan Reddy were present at a historic event where eight major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed for boosting river cruise tourism in the country.
Of these, two MoUs were signed by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) with Antara Luxury River Cruises & JM Baxi River Cruises to introduce river cruise service between Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Bogibeel in Dibrugarh, Assam. The government has allocated Rs 648.80 crores to develop Ten projects under Coastal Thematic Circuits in order to boost cruise tourism in the country.
Addressing the gathering, Sarbananda Sonowal, said, "As per the vision of our leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, we are working towards energising inland waterways in India. One of the biggest avenues for growth in the Northeast is unlocking the huge potential of tourism in the region. With this historic river cruise between Varanasi and Dibrugarh, traversing through a wonderful voyage of natural splendour, a vast opportunity of tourism sector set to get a boost. The tourists will get to experience the beauty of flora & fauna along the riverine in this route while the local economy is likely to get a boost from the development of such tourism circuit."
The government is also working towards developing dedicated terminals for cruise passengers and cruise vessels
Through the Central Financial Assistance Scheme, the Government of India has been supporting tourism infrastructure by developing ports and cruise terminals, lighthouses and river cruise circuits and purchasing ferries. The government is also working towards developing dedicated terminals for cruise passengers and cruise vessels.
Sonowal with the other delegates during the signing of the MoU
Image: Sonowal with the other delegates during the signing of the MoU
Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned ten projects under coastal thematic circuits worth Rs. 648.80 crore across various States/Union Territories. Adding further, Sarbananda Sonowal said, "Our rivers are our strengths and we must do whatever is required to draw from it so that India prospers. We are working with all the stakeholders towards this objective and developing waterways as a conduit to realise the potential of tourism is one of them. Our tourists - domestic and international alike - will enjoy a historical experience of riverine tourism through these river cruises. From our rich spiritual heritage in Varanasi to the lush greenery of the Northeast India & Assam, they will surely treasure this journey. We are working towards developing more jetties and terminals on river banks, night navigation & river information systems for efficient and effective river cruise tourism."
The Union Minister, G Kishan Reddy, said, "The government has recognised cruise tourism as a niche tourism product to attract tourists. cruise tourism is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing sectors of the leisure and travel industry. The promotion of coastal tourism through beach tourism, lighthouse tourism, and cruise tourism will help communities such as fishing communities to find other livelihood opportunities and supplement their income.

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