Panaji, Nov 16 (IANS): First International cruise ship 'Viking Mars' on Wednesday arrived in the coastal state of Goa with around 650 passengers and other crew members.
Docked at the international cruise berth of Mormugao Port Authority, the cruise is scheduled to halt for a day in the coastal state.
Mormugao BJP MLA Sankalp Amonkar, after welcoming the tourists in traditional way, said that arrival of international cruise will help the economy of the state.
"It will help all stakeholders of the tourist area, not only from my constituency but also from others where these tourists visit," he said.
He said that tourism activities had gone standstill due to COVID pandemic, but now things are improving. "People faced loss during COVID, but now it seems there will be good business as tourists have started to come," he said.
Amonkar said that such international cruises should stay in Goa for longer duration so the tourists can explore Goa. "I have placed my demand that cruises should stay here for longer duration and not only for one day. Tourists love to visit Goa and hence they should be given more time to travel here," he said.
Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) President Nilesh Shah told IANS that it is a good sign for tourism that international cruises have started to arrive in Goa. "I think things are improving and more tourists will arrive in Goa," he said.
Shah said that this will help hotels, taxi drivers, ecotourism and other stakeholders to get the business.
He said that cruise operators could think of increasing time for stay in Goa, provided Port charges are minimised and economical transport service provided.
"We will have to give them more facilities at the port and a proper environment will have to be created. Only then cruise operators can think of increasing timing," he said.