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Kerala Tourism will introduce advanced water transport services to tourists by launching the ‘hop-on hop-off’ boat services and water taxies to ensure “last mile connectivity” to tourist destinations.
Billed as the first of its kind in the country, the ‘hop-on hop-off’ services and water taxies will be introduced in the backwaters of Kochi and Muziris region, an integral part of the historic spice route.
One of the flagship projects of Kerala Tourism under Mission 676, the services are part of the plans to introduce water-based tourism facilitations.
Three ‘hop-on hop-off’ boats and three water taxies are being launched initially. The Rs.2.83-crore needed had been made available from Plan funds and the services will be launched in next one month.
Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited, a government undertaking, had been entrusted with operating the services to ensure the standards set. The air-conditioned boats can ferry 25 tourists and the air-conditioned taxies six.
The services will be available only during daytime. Tourists will be offered a single ticket in the boats with which they can move to Marine Drive, Bolghatty, Vypeen, Fort Kochi, and Mattanchery any number of times during the day.
The tourists can get down at these places and board the boats after exploring the tourist attractions. In the next phase, Mr. Billa said bicycles would be made available at these jetties for tourists to move around.
The water taxies will operate from point to point and will be available on a telephone call like call taxies. For the tourists, it will be quick transportation enjoying the scenic beauty and can save considerable time.
Kerala Tourism has also decided to brand these boats using the young talented artists in the age group of 18 to 45 years from the State. The selected signature works will be developed into full size vinyl stickers to wrap the exterior of these boats.