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Footfalls, Houseboat Tourism in Alappuzha in Troubled Waters.

shriram | 20th October 2014 | Travel And Tourism
 Footfalls, Houseboat Tourism in Alappuzha in Troubled Waters.

    Houseboats entered the tourism industry during the 1990s as a novel concept. The next two decades were their golden age.

They became icons of Kerala Tourism and was a major crowd puller by 2000. Currently, there are around 600 houseboats in Kumarakom and 1,200 in Alappuzha.
According to Vijayakumar, their profit has come down to `1.6 lakh per month against `7 lakhs they used to earn three years ago. He says that the recently imposed liquor ban in the state also affected the industry.
The number of foreign tourists and those from North Indian states, especially West Bengal and Gujarat experienced a sudden drop in number as an effect of unavailability of liquor. The liquor ban in Kerala, being a potential tourist destination, has become a topic of interest in various tourism circles. The recent hike in airfares also had an adverse effect on tourism,” he added.
Water channels have been marked in the Lake for houseboats separately, clearing the garbage, water hyacinths and mud. The houseboat operators are compelled to stick to it as they don’t want their boats to get damaged.

However, a group of proprietors recently approached the authorities seeking to elevate three bridges in the Kottayam-Kumarakom Route, so that they can use the possibilities of inland waterways also.

The three bridges at Kavanattinkara, Cheepunkal and Kaippuzhamuttu are hindering the houseboats from entering the rivers.

Those who run resorts in the Kumarakom area also agree that they are having a crisis situation this year.

According to a proprietor, most of these resorts are not making any profit even during the season. Moreover, investments in resorts are being done mainly with an eye on their resale value.


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