NEW DELHI, India -- Keen on promoting cruise tourism on a mega scale, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari yesterday said talks are on with Singapore for cruise connectivity.

India has huge potential for cruise tourism and efforts in this direction could boost it from 80 ship per annum to 900, the shipping minister said.

"The cruises from India could go to Singapore, Philipines and Thailand and the projects will be developed on PPP (public private partnership) mode," the minister said on the sidelines of an event.

Cruise terminals are being built at major ports and in Mumbai alone Rs 1,000 crore is being spent to build a cruise terminal, Gadkari added.(One Crore: ten million)

India, with a 7,500 km of coastline, has taken some steps to promote cruise tourism that includes relaxation of policies and roping in global consultants.

He had earlier said that a policy was in making to put India on the global cruise map -- both for oceans and rivers -- which is seen to create about 2.5 lakh jobs and boost growth.

India saw 1.76 lakh cruise passengers in 2016-17, a merely 0.5 per cent of the global pie. Domestic cruise passengers are estimated to grow to 1.5 million by 2031-32.(One Lakh:100,000)

Of the 12 major ports, only five -- Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, New Mangalore and Chennai -- have facilities to berth international cruise ships.