Thiruvananthapuram: The upcoming Kerala Boat Race League will evolve into a world-class tourism product, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Thursday.
Elaborating, he said that the league will include various boat races from five districts, excluding the ones that are held in relation to religious customs and traditions and the matches would be held mostly on Saturdays.
"The Boat Race League will begin on August 11 with the Nehru Boat Race Trophy that will be held at the Alappuzha Punnamada Lake. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race will be the qualifying event and the league matches will be held on the succeeding days by including the top nine Ateams from the qualifying race. The league will have a total of 12 games, and will conclude on November 1 with the Kollam President Trophy Boat Race," said Surendran.
The matches will be held at six venues in Alappuzha district, two in Ernakulam district and one each in Thrissur, Kottayam and Kollam districts.
The qualifying teams will be granted a bonus amount of Rs 4 lakh, while the prize money for the top three teams in each league match has been fixed at Rs 5 lakh for the winner, Rs 3 lakh for the runner-up, and Rs 1 lakh for the third spot.
The top-three teams in each league match will also be allotted points, based on which the final winner will be decided at the end of the league matches. The winner in the league game will get 5 points, while the runner-up and third spot will receive 3 and 1 points each respectively.
The final winner of the league will be receiving a prize money of Rs 10 lakh. The qualifying teams must also make sure that each team has 75 per cent natives in it.
The Minister said that the name of the league was yet to be fixed, adding that the Kerala Boat Race League was just a temporary name for the event.
Tourism Secretary Rani George said by bringing the boat races under the league format, each race assumes significance than ever before.
"This is a significant product that Kerala Tourism now adds to its kitty. With the races spread over four months, whoever arrives in Kerala any time during these months would get the opportunity to witness the races," said George.