Published on : Thursday, August 1, 2019
Houseboats are set to make a foray into Kochi, as the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) throws open its renovated cruise boat terminal near the High Court on Thursday. Minister for Tourism Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the revamped cruise terminal and launched the first houseboat on Thursday.
A houseboat, a tourist boat, and two speed boats will be berthed at the terminal. The DTPC has tied up with Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), a Kochi-based firm, and a Dubai-based one for introducing a total of 50 houseboats in the Kochi backwaters in the coming years.
The minister promised all help from the government to firms venturing into tourism.
The introduction of houseboats in Ernakulam will further boost Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism in the backwaters.
Houseboat operators are keen to venture into other districts since a cap has been placed on the number of houseboats in Alappuzha and Kottayam, as their proliferation has led to issues of sewage disposal. In 2018, the Ports Department stopped registering houseboats in the two districts since a bulk of 900 such vessels in Kerala operate there.
The entry of house boats will also revive boat building and allied trades. It will throw open opportunities for women to prepare home-cooked food to tourists as per DTPC officials. Those who were present at the function included KSINC managing director N. Prasanth and actor Dharmajan Bolgatty.