Water related tourism projects attracted investors more, out of the 17 projects presented before them, at the Emerging Kerala 2012 summit.
Only one project, the seaplane service, got more attention and several investors showed interest to operate the service. The other concrete proposal was the resort project at Kumarakom with an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore.
It has been planned to operate sea planes in Thiruvananthapuram, Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam, Punnamada in Alappuzha, Vembanad lake, Munnar, Kochi and Bolgatty.
The project cost comes to around Rs 10 crore to Rs 30 crore per sea plane depending on the type of aircraft. The government plans to invest Rs 15 crore for the infrastructure of this project.
Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said that priority will be given for seaplane services as it was the most preferred project at the Emerging Kerala meet. Several other water related projects, including hop-on hop-off boats, inland luxury cruise and water taxi services also came up which would be finalised after a detailed discussion and project preparation.
“Around 13 investors presented their projects before the government. All these projects are proposed at the investors’ own places”, the Minister said. “They will submit a detailed project report before the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) for clearance to get the final nod of the government. The government will provide sufficient infrastructure to boost the tourism sector,” he said.
Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry president E M Najeeb said that except the heritage ropeway project, all other 16 projects presented before the investors are viable. The ropeway project planned at Munnar is likely to damage the ecological balance. Najeeb pointed out that the government should be the facilitator for the growth of the tourism industry as the entrepreneurs are willing to invest. Those in the tourism industry will not come up with projects that are not environment friendly.
“The government should refrain from controversies to ensure that the projects proposed at the Emerging Kerala would materialise. “To meet the expectation of the investors, there should be an error free and fool proof institutional mechanism”, Najeeb said.
For the last 20 years, the tourism industry had grown without any controversies. Even during Munnar demolition, the industry cooperated with the government for ensuring that the environment is protected, he said.
He lauded the efforts of the government to form an Investors’ Board.