State Affairs

Houseboat owners list steps to keep tourism afloat

ALAPPUZHA

The All Kerala Houseboat Owners Association has demanded that the government as well as political parties take measures to exempt tourism sector from hartals. The proposal has been submitted to the Chief Minister, District Collector, Tourism Department authorities and people’s representatives, according to the association president Josekutty Joseph. The association has also represented the matter before an Assembly panel engaged in a study, prior to the tabling of a Bill on restricting hartals.

He said tourism had been able to remain robust at a time when many other sectors were in doldrums. A tourism-friendly environment was essential to ensure steady flow of tourists. Hartals had posed serious threat to the sector. If tourism could turn out to be hartal-free, it would benefit tourism industry and the State as a whole, he said.

The association pointed out that it would be appropriate for the government to initiate projects offering entertainment to tourists at various centres as the houseboats were not supposed to operate after 5.30 p.m. Entertainment centres for staging cultural and art programmes could be set up, with facilities for shopping. Handicrafts, coir products and spices could be marketed there. The government agencies could also sell premium brand liquor at such outlets for tourists.

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