Splendid display of houseboats in Alappuzha enthralls the visitors
In order to convey the message that Alappuzha is ready to receive tourists to its backwaters, the Alappzuha District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) has organized a campaign with the tag line ‘Back to Backwaters’. A house boat rally was organized as part of the promotion campaigns on 2nd November 2018 from the finishing point of the Nehru trophy boat race. It might be the first time such a rally has taken place in the whole world.
The event kick started, with a bike rally of women, which started from Alappuzha beach and concluded at the boat race finishing point. A photo exhibition was also arranged at the venue, depicting how Alappuzha has survived the floods and returning to normal life.
Thousands of people, including foreign tourists, were present to take part in the boat rally. Music programme, roller skating performance by children, performance of lady drummers etc., were arranged as part of the event to entertain the people prior to the boat rally.
Kadakampally Surendran, Tourism Minister, has inaugurated the photo exhibition. Alappuzha district collector S Suhas and DTPC Secretary M Malin were present on the occasion. Kadhakali artists and lady drummers welcomed the minister to the exhibition hall. The photo exhibition was arranged by Kajal Deth from Ernakulum.
While speaking to the media after the photo exhibition inauguration, the tourism minister congratulated the house boat owners for their initiative to organize such an event to help the revival of Alappuzha. He also lauded their selfless services during the flood in serving the affected people by providing shelter for the homeless.
“Tourism is one of the major revenue earners of our state, which has been affected by various factors like Nipah virus outbreak, rain and flood. During floods roads to the major tourism destinations were damaged; however we could reinstate the roads in record time. Now all of our tourism spots are ready for tourists in all respect,” said the minister.
“The number of foreign tourists has not come down drastically though Nipah virus, Ockhi cyclone and the floods hit the state. However, the arrival of domestic tourists saw a dip after the floods which badly affected the houseboat sector. This rally will be a boon to the industry,’’ he added.
He also mentioned the appreciation note by Indian Cricket team captain Virat Kohli during his visit to Kerala to participate the One-day match with West Indies. “Being in Kerala is nothing short of bliss. I love coming here and love the energy of the whole place,” noted Virat Kohli in the visitors’ book at the Leela Raviz, Kovalam.
Indian cricket team all-rounder Kedar Jadhav was the chief guest of the event. After the press meet, Jadhav flagged off the boat rally. 220 house boats, 100 shikara boats and a set of small boats have participated in the rally. The boat rally lasted for 3 hours. Those who attended the rally had the chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of the backwaters with delicious food arranged in the boat for free.
“This is our first time in Kerala. It is a beautiful place. We have been told that Kerala is not safe to visit now, but we did not see any problems here. Now we stay only for two days here, but we will definitely come back to see the other destinations,” said Olivier and Aghes, a French couple to Tourism News Live, who were travelling in the house boat ‘My Trip House Boats’. The couple was in Alappuzha to celebrate their honeymoon.