Kochi: Kochi port is set to become a prime destination for cruise tourism with massive development projects in the works. Interested parties have been invited to submit expressions of interest for the operation and management of the Sagarika Cruise Terminal, as well as other tourism projects under the Kochi Port Authority. The objective is to elevate the port to international tourism standards by establishing hotels, exhibition and convention centres, wellness and health spas, business facilities, and government institution stalls, among others. The submission deadline for expressions of interest is May 31, after which the tender process will commence.
The development projects will cover a total of 13.76 acres, with the Sagarika Terminal occupying 2.43 acres of the area. The plans will be implemented under a public-private partnership or land lease model, with all amenities that travellers expect to find in an airport also made available at Kochi port.
The executor of the project will benefit from the revenue generated by the six-dollar (about Rs 500) tax that Kochi Port levies on each arriving tourist. The businessmen will receive a portion of this tax revenue. Last year, Kochi port welcomed 31 luxury ships, with 16 of them being international vessels. During that period, 36,403 passengers transited through the port. Kochi Port Authority has already announced that 21 ships will arrive at the port this financial year.