Express News Service
KOCHI: Kochi is known as the “Tourist Gateway” of Kerala. She is also known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. However, when it comes to cruise tourism, even though Kochi has huge potential, it lacks. At a time when cruise tourism is gaining in importance and its potential is being recognized by the central government, the lack of a proper ecosystem is proving to be a limiting factor for the tourism sector in the state.
According to PR guide Rajesh, Kochi should be referred to by a different name. “It should be known as a cruise hub all over the world. Why not call it that? Kochi is conveniently located when it comes to connecting the various tourist destinations in the state, whether by road or water,” he said.
“However, the lack of proper infrastructure at the cruise terminal makes it difficult to realize such a dream,” he added. Currently, only one cruise line calls regularly. “This can be changed if infrastructure facilities are increased in the port. Whether they are foreign tourists or those arriving from other states in the country on cruise ships, they must go through immigration procedures at the port before they are allowed to see the sights,” he said.
“One thing that can be done is to create an emergency immigration system that will speed up the process, and the second, but most important, is to build a shelter on the pier to provide shade for those who are waiting in line.” he added.
He added that people from a lone cruise line that calls at the port complained about the lack of such a shelter. According to Isaac Francis, director of Santa Monica, there is a huge demand for cruises. “Of course, the terminal has been built. But before reaching it, tourists have to wait a long time in the sun. Another problem is the lack of a canteen. You have to go a long way to find a decent restaurant,” he said. He added that since September 2021, Cordelia has called at the port 14 times.
As tourists leave the pier on their way to various tourist spots, he says, they are greeted with huge piles of rubbish. “Something needs to be done about this,” Rajesh said. According to him, another thing the government can do is to develop an application that will provide all the necessary information about tourist places and other related information. Tour guides currently provide them, he added.