Express press 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 has proven to be insufficient. At a time when cruise tourism is gaining prominence and its potential is being recognized by the central government, the lack of a proper ecosystem is proving to be a drag on the tourism sector in the state.
According to Rajesh PR, a tour guide, Kochi must be known by another name. “It should be known as a cruise hub around the world. And why shouldn’t it be called that? Kochi is well placed to connect various tourist destinations in the state, whether by road or waterways,” he said.
“However, the lack of proper infrastructure at the cruise terminal makes realizing such a dream difficult,” he added. Currently, only one cruise line calls regularly. “That can be changed if infrastructure facilities are increased at the port. Whether they are foreign tourists or those coming from other states in the country on cruise liners, they must go through immigration procedures at the port before being allowed to sightsee,” he said. -he declares.
“One thing that can be done is to put in place an emergency immigration system which would speed up the procedure, while the second but most important thing is to build a shelter on the quay to provide shade for those who wait their turn”, he added.
People from the only cruise line that calls at the port have complained about the lack of such shelter, he added. There’s a huge demand for cruises, said Santa Monica manager Isaac Francis. “Of course, a terminal was built. But before reaching it, tourists have to wait a long time in the sun. Another problem is the lack of a cafeteria. You have to go far to find a good restaurant,” he said. Since September 2021, Cordelia has called at the port 14 times, he added.
According to him, it does not help to be greeted by huge piles of rubbish when tourists exit the wharf on their way to various tourist spots. “Something has to be done about it,” Rajesh said. Another thing the government can do is come up with an app that will provide all the necessary details regarding tourist places and other related information, he said. At present, these are provided by tour guides, he added.