India’s first live-aboard yatch, Infiniti, was launched recently, opening up avenues for scuba divers from across the globe to explore Andaman waters. Live-aboards are very popular worldwide in countries that have strong sea-tourism sectors such as Maldives, Thailand, Caribbean Islands, Red Sea, Indonesia, etc. A live-aboard is a sea-going vessel that is equipped to provide comfortable accommodation in guest cabins, dining and leisure facilities as it travels around the island areas to visit interesting spots, usually for scuba diving.
Scuba diving is a highly popular tourist activity worldwide, with millions of followers. It is estimated to be a $47 billion industry, including the revenues from hospitality. In India, which has 22 dive centers dotting its waters, scuba diving is a new, but fast-growing activity. Diving destinations such as the Andaman Islands, Goa and the Lakshadweep Islands are garnering increasing interest from tourists, both domestic and international. Over the next few years, India can emerge as a major hub for diving as additional infrastructure is built to keep up with the demand.
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