Luxury Hospitality Through River Cruises, Hospitality News, ET HospitalityWorld

We have over 100 national waterways in India and we have a lot of potential in river cruise tourism, says Raj Singh, Founder and Chairman of Antara Luxury River Cruises.

The river cruise industry is set to become a new tourist avenue in India in the coming years. And for the luxury cruise tourism in India, the majority of the clientele were foreign tourists. However, post-pandemic, stakeholders are witnessing an increase in the number of domestic travelers moving towards river cruises.

Antara Luxury River Cruises welcomes 20% of national customers and 80% of international customers. However, previously, the percentage of domestic tourists opting for river cruises was zero in Anatara. “People have developed an interest lately as we are seeing an increase in inquiries from domestic customers. Currently 20% of our total customer base is domestic and we see that number only increasing,” said Raj Singh, Founder and Chairman of Antara Luxury River Cruise during an interview with ET HospitalityWorld.

“We have over 100 national waterways in India and we have a lot of potential in river cruise tourism. It is a niche business that has yet to be recognized. From Ganga to Indo Bangla Protocol Route to Bhramaputra and the rivers of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, there is plenty to explore. And although we have full cruises and many requests from the domestic market, we sense a demand,” he added.

The government is currently working on a comprehensive Indian National Tourism Policy and cruise tourism will be a priority sector. “Through various programs, the government is now extending its support to this sector. The government maintains channels for us and provides us with channels and pilots,” Singh explained.

Antara also focuses on sustainable tourism and raising awareness of clean rivers. Few measures like installed RO factories, STP factories, zero single use plastic policy, mufflers and no oil secretion are taken by the brand to ensure the durability. “Today’s travelers are much more aware of sustainability and the environment. We also make sure to educate well and take initiatives such as obtaining local products, hiring local people, etc. said Singh.

Antara is soon to be launched in Odisha where the cruise will be introduced in Bhitarkanika National Park. In December this year, the company organizes the longest river cruise connecting India and Bangladesh in 50 days. “And this departure is completely sold. We also have plans for Kerala and Goa. We do pre-bookings, so almost 80-90% are always full,” he explained.

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