After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, over 40 cruise ships are expected to visit Kochi during the October-April cruise season. This is great news for local businesses, as cruise tourists are known to spend generously. The majority of these tourists are senior citizens who have plenty of time to explore leisurely. Stakeholders such as ground-handling agents, curio and antique sellers, tour operators, and guides are relieved by the revival of the sector after a steep decline in tourist arrivals. In the previous season, 31 cruise ships visited Kochi, and this number is expected to increase to 50 this season.
The domestic cruise season has already begun, with a vessel from Mumbai resuming trips to Kochi twice a month. International cruise liners are expected to arrive from October, and local tourism stakeholders are preparing by setting up stalls selling various products. The Ernakulam DTPC will help organize shore tours to popular destinations in Kochi and the backwaters in Alappuzha and Kumarakom. Before the pandemic, around 50 cruise ships would visit Kochi, each carrying approximately 1,500 tourists and crew members. However, due to visa restrictions, Canadian tourists may have to remain on board their vessels this season.
Despite this setback, the port city of Kochi is proud to have the Sagarika international cruise terminal, which was inaugurated in 2021. Many cruise companies are now offering all-inclusive packages to attract clients, including shore packages that were previously an additional expense for guests. With the revival of the cruise sector, local businesses are hopeful for a successful season and are ready to welcome tourists from Germany, the UK, Italy, Australia, and the US.
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