Modi Govt May Allow Luxury Cruise Tours Under LTC Scheme

[Mumbai] Modi Govt May Allow Cruise Tours Under LTC Scheme
Aiming to increase cruise tourism, the Central Govt is mulling to include vacations on luxury ships under the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) scheme where government employees get their travel costs reimbursed.
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Suman Billa said in a session on tourism at the Maritime India Summit .”We are looking at including cruise tours under the LTC scheme. Employees can go on cruise ships at government expense,”
He said such a move will shore up the sagging numbers of tourists opting for cruise tours and will be a huge boost for the sector.
Billa said for the five years between FY10 and FY14, there has been a 14 per cent decline in the number of tourists opting for cruise tours in the country, a trend the government wants to reverse.
In FY10, there were 55,000 domestic and 1.35 lakh foreign tourists who boarded cruise ships, which dropped to 45,000 and 70,000, respectively, in FY14,
Billa said India is best placed to take advantage of cruise tourism as it stands close to a busy route for cruise ships between the Middle East and South East Asian countries.