NEW DELHI, India Discussions are on with Singapore for development of cruise tourism at various locations in India, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said yesterday.

Keen on promoting cruise tourism on a mega-scale in the country, the road transport, shipping and water resources minister said Mumbai alone is expected to see 950 cruise vessels in the next five years.

He was addressing a delegation from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) here.

"About one lakh tourists from India visit Singapore for cruise tourism. There is much scope for developing cruise tourism in India and Singapore can play a vital role in developing it here," he said.(One Lakh:100,000)

The minister said such facilities will be developed at various locations, including Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Puducherry and Chennai.

India, with 7,500 kms of coastline, has taken several steps to promote cruise tourism, including relaxation of policies and roping in global consultants.

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

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

Source: NAM News Network