Seaplane project, a major initiative which can bring about a sea change in the tourism industry in the state, is all set to take off by April. Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar, who inaugurated the ‘Visitor Facilitation Centre’ of the District Tourist Promotion Council (DTPC) here, had said that the first phase of the project would be implemented at Bolghatty in Kochi and then in Thiruvananthapuram and Alappuzha.
“After the implementation of the seaplane project, a counter will be opened at the newly inaugurated visitor facilitation centre in Kochi,” he said.
Anil Kumar said that apart from being the commercial hub, Kochi has now become the tourism hub. “Hence, the government is giving paramount importance to the district for the implimentation of the project,” he said.
The minister further said that the demand to reduce the rent of Durbar Hall will be considered after holding discussions with political representatives and other officials. The visitor facilitation centre will have foreign exchange, inbound and outbound counters for tourism packages, mini interpretation room, toilets with modern facilities, ATM and railway reservation counters. The centre envisions to make Kochi a turn-around hub which will facilitate the movement of tourists to different parts of the country and the world by organising all the requirements needed for it under one roof.
An agreement has been signed in this regard between the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, Thenmala Eco Tourism Promotion Board, Kerala Forest Development Corporation and the Keral State Inland Navigation Corporation.
Union Minister of State for Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said the developmental activities in the tourist sector should be carried out by keeping up its heritage. “Developmental activities will be carried out in Willingdon Island with the assistance of the Central Government. Around `26 crore have been earmarked to built walkways and other facilities.