Houseboat owners at Kumarakom have welcomed the new prepaid facility for houseboats here, hoping that it would give a boost to the industry. The prepaid counter which was opened on the New Year day would help tourists to book houseboats without intervention of middlemen.
Many incidents of unauthorized guides and middlemen fleecing people have occurred here. The facility would help the sector to develop, said Shanej Indraprastham, secretary of houseboat owners’ society. The prepaid counter is currently functioning from the tourism police aid post in Kavanattinkara near Motel Aaram and is managed by the tourism police. It is functioning from 9am-6pm. Soon, telephone facility would be made available.
Boats which do not have any bookings on a particular day will have to register with the counter. Boats will be allotted according to the list, said Shanej. The society is also planning to launch a website, preferably linked to the DTPC and start online booking facility.
Full report here Times of India