Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu has proposed the development of the Maharashtra coast as a tourist hotspot. The proposal has been sent to the Ministry for Tourism as well as Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The proposal includes development of scuba diving and domestic cruise destinations at Angria Bank. This is a shallow sunken atoll with rich coral diversity a little over 100 kilometres off the Maharashtra coast.
With a thrust on underwater tourism of global standards, there is a plan to promote submarine tourism in Sindhudurg. Tourists can go into the deep sea and enjoy the view of coral diversity in a battery-operated submarine.
The proposal includes setting up India’s largest aquarium in Sindhudurg to create awareness about marine biodiversity, an official statement said on Monday.
The marine leisure sector is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and growth of cruise ship industry, seaside destination resorts, marine parks, scuba diving and aquariums.
– Suresh Prabhu
Suresh Prabhu also stated that India, with a coast line of 7500 km, has tremendous potential for development in this sector.
Apart from this, the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and Indian Institute of Scuba Diving and Aquatic Sports (IISDA) Malwan, Sindhudurg, has also come up with plans to encourage marine tourism along the state’s coast.
Cruise Tourism And Other Plans
The project included development of five ports, including Mumbai, to cater to a larger number of cruise liners and passengers. The other four centres are Kochi (Cochin) in Kerala, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Mormugao in Goa, and New Mangalore in Karnataka.
The idea was to ensure that international cruise tourism companies put Indian destinations on their map; and persuade them to even begin their cruise from an Indian port.
The development work is scheduled to be completed by August 2019.
Water sports activities and floating restaurants are also being planned around the Gateway of India and Marine Drive area.