Kerala to introduce seaplanes to attract tourists

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 09:10 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 11 (IANS) Kerala Tourism will introduce seaplanes and special bogies in trains to attract visitors to the state, a minister said Tuesday.

"We have got proposals for seaplane operations from five operators and now the state government is putting in place the exact locations where the landing jetties need to come on water bodies. This we expect to be operational by January 31 next year," Tourism Minister A.P. Anilkumar told IANS.

The state government wants to set up jetties from where seaplanes can land and take-off -- each at Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha and Kochi.

"The tourists normally arrive in airports here and Kochi. Kollam and Alappuzha are presently the most sought after destinations which have houseboats and are the pristine destinations for holidaying," added Anilkumar.

Kerala received 9.4 million domestic visitors last year while the number of foreign tourists was 0.8 million.

For special railway bogies, the tourism department has zeroed down on two trains -- Trivandrum-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi Express and the Maveli Express that run between Mangalore and the capital city.

"We have already finished talks with the Indian Railways and they have agreed to allocate one bogie each on these trains. Then we will convert it to a completely exquisite facility that will attract lot of tourists. Because of the facility that we will be offering on the train, the fares will be fixed by us," added Anilkumar.

"We have to re-invent so as to give each and every tourist something special and we want those who have experienced Kerala to return again and again and hence we have to continue to give new products," he said.

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