DELHI: India Tourism Development Corporation is widening its retail gaze to include seaports.
Its retail arm, Ashok International Trade Division (AITD), has been steadily cruising into seaports across the country setting up duty-free outlets, reports Hindu Business Line.
For instance, on Tuesday morning, ITDC officiating CMD and Director Commercial & Marketing Piyush Tiwari was at Krishnapatnam port in Nellore district, inaugurating a new outlet along with Anil Yendluri, CEO of the port.
“Next month we may open one at Tuticorin followed by Kandla Port later,” said Tiwari, outlining ITDC’s ambition to cover all the seaports in India.
Krishnapatnam is the 11th seaport where ITDC has set up a duty free shop.
“My target is that by 2018-19 we should cover all the major ports in the country with our duty-free outlets,” says Tiwari, hastening to add: “Of course it depends on the port authorities as well.”
At present, ITDC has outlets in Mumbai, New Mangalore, Chennai, Goa, Paradeep, Kolkata, Haldia, Vishakapatnam , Cochin, Kakinada and Krishnapatnam ports.
According to Tiwari, the seaport duty-free outlets are aligned with the Ministry of Tourism’s ambitious plans to create cruise tourism around India’s coastal towns. Shopping facilities are part of this plan.
He also says the outlets are seeing good footfalls from crew of cargo ships that arrive at these ports. Apart from the standard alcohol, perfume, chocolates and cigarettes mix, it is now adding Indian tea and tribal handicrafts.
“We want to showcase Indian crafts here and are talking to suppliers of these goods, he says.
Tiwari points out proudly that in this bid-oriented business even the private ports – Kakinada and Krishnapatnam — have chosen to go with ITDC for the duty-free outlets.