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Cordelia Cruises is planning to pump in excess of USD 1 billion by 2025 for acquiring at least three cruise ships as it aims to target the domestic market, which has world’s third-largest coastline of 7,500 kms. The company’s bullish outlook is in line with the government’s projection of a 10-fold growth for this industry over the next decade.
“India will do extremely well in the cruise sector. I am confident that in the next 5-7 years India will be one of the top five cruise destinations of the world, similar to China five years ago. We have aggressive expansion plans. We want to add at least three cruise vessels by 2025 that could cost over USD 1 billion,” Jurgen Bailom, CEO, Waterways Leisure Tourism said.
Cordelia is owned by Waterways Leisure Tourism — an arm of Dream Hotel Group — controlled by the Indian American hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal.
Bailom said with government’s focus and support, the investment from this Indian venture could rise to even USD 1.5-2 billion to meet the growing appetite for cruising by Indians over the next few years. Many foreign cruise liners have already shown interest in entering India, he said. Asked about financing the expansion, Bailom said the Indian banking system does not have enough experience in vessel financing but there are “specialist financiers” for cruise liners. India aims to increase cruise passenger traffic from 0.4 million at present to 4 million. Economic potential of Cruise tourism is expected to go up from $110 million to $5.5 billion in the years to come.
“About two lakh Indian guests travel overseas for cruising every year.We expect this number to double in one year.While in the next 3 years the number of cruise guests may touch one million per annum for domestic cruising,” Bailom said.
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