The Ministry of Shipping, along with the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) has drawn up an ambitious programme to develop 78 lighthouses in the country as centres of tourism in the first phase under Public Private Partnership (PPP). The identified lighthouses are in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The land adjacent to these lighthouses may have hotels, resorts, viewing galleries, maritime museums and heritage museums, adventure sports facilities, thematic restaurants, souvenir shops, LASER shows, spa & rejuvenation centers, amphitheaters and allied tourism facilities to attract the tourists, subject to viability and necessary clearances.
The DGLL has already invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from prospective and potential developers for eight Lighthouses at Aguada (Goa), Chandrabhaga (Odisha), Mahabalipuram, Kanya Kumari and Muttom (Tamil Nadu), Kadalur Point (Thikkodi, Kerala), Kanhoji Angre and Sunk Rock (Maharashtra) and Minicoy (Lakshadweep). An Expression of Interest (EOI) has also been issued by DGLL for another 70 lighthouses.
To invoke greater interest of public and private players, the Ministry of Shipping is also organizing three Road Shows at Kochi, Vizag and Chennai on 14th, 17th & 19th October, 2015 respectively, and Investor Summit in Mumbai on 29th October, 2015 where it will seek active participation from the hospitality players and developers (in the private sector) and the support of the State Government agencies at these events.
Traditionally, lighthouses have been beacons of navigation for mariners for centuries, but in the 21st century, lighthouses are going through a major transformation as tourist destinations. All over the world lighthouses enthrall tourists with their scenic and serene surroundings and rich maritime heritage.
Realizing the immense potential lighthouses in India have as attractive tourism destinations, the Ministry of Shipping through the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) has decided to tap into the opportunities to promote tourism at these sites.
The Ministry of Shipping and DGLL intend to promote lighthouses across India as tourism destinations and means of promoting Lighthouse Tourism in India with the following key objectives:
• To enhance and develop the existing Lighthouses and their surrounding areas into unique tourism destinations and Maritime Landmarks.
• To identify and develop possible tourism infrastructure components to facilitate promotion of tourism at Lighthouse premises.
• To explore the possibilities of developing these projects under PPP by integrating commercially viable interventions at the feasible locations in order to make the project viable.
India has 189 lighthouses dotting its vast coast line of 7517 Kms, including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea. Steeped in rich maritime heritage, each lighthouse has its own story to tell to the wayfarers and has tremendous tourism potential just waiting to be tapped.
The DGLL has successfully developed 4 lighthouses as tourist attraction centres at Madras and Mahabalipuram Lighthouses in Tamil Nadu & the Alleppy and Cannanore Lighthouses in Kerala, which have been garnering substantial tourist footfall.