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Coronavirus hits cruise tourism in Mangaluru

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on March 09, 2020

File photo of NMPT

No passenger vessels allowed to berth at NMPT till March-end

The coronavirus outbreak across the world has affected the calling of cruise vessels at New Mangalore port.

AV Ramana, Chairman of New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), said the Centre has decided not to allow cruise ships from any foreign destination to call on Indian ports in view of the coronavirus threat in different countries. The decision will be applicable to all cruise ships calling at all the ports till March 31.

On Sunday, NMPT did not allow the entry of cruise vessel MSC LIRICA.

YR Belagal, Traffic Manager of NMPT, said six cruise vessels had been expected to call at New Mangalore Port this month.

NMPT, which offers a draft of 9.5 metres at the cruise berth, has set up a dedicated cruise lounge to handle passengers visiting the region.

In a media interaction in November, Ramana had said NMPT had got confirmation of 24 cruise vessels calling at the port during the current cruise season. The cruise season ranges from November to April.

Highlighting the impact of cruise tourism on the local economy, Ramana has said on various occasions that on an average a foreign cruise passenger spends around $100 during a visit to the city. This helps local artisans, village industry and vendors. The visit of each cruise vessel helps create at least 500 indirect jobs in the form of vehicle drivers, tour guides, etc., he has said.

Cruise passengers visit places such as St Aloysius Chapel, Gokarna Natha Temple, Kadri Manjunatha Temple, and a cashew factory in Mangaluru. Some of the passengers also visit Gomateshwara Statue at Karkala of Udupi district, Soans Farm and 1,000-Pillar Jain Temple in Moodbidri taluk of Dakshina Kannada and Sri Krishna Temple in Udupi district.

Published on March 09, 2020

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