Houseboat Tourism in Kerala To Be Scanned For Increasing Sex Tourism in State

Published on: 01 Sep, 2014
Published under: Kerala Travel News

There have been an increase number of reports about sex tourism prevailing in the houseboats of the Alleppey. The district administration has initiated steps for monitoring the houseboat industry following reports of sex tourism and possibility of extremist elements using the facilities.

The move follows an alert from additional director general of police (intelligence) A Hemachandran. District collector N Padmakumar has sought reports from the district police chief and the port officer— who is responsible for issuing licences to houseboats—in this regard.

"The ADGP alerted us that there is no efficient monitoring of the houseboat industry. He wanted us to take action against sex tourism and check details of those renting these houseboats. He even warned us that houseboats could turn a safe haven for extremists,” Padmakumar said.

People associated with the industry confirmed reports of sex tourism. “We have arranged sex workers for some guests who demanded such services. However, we try to avoid such guests,” said Akhil, a houseboat employee from Muhamma.

District tourism promotion council secretary C Pradeep also said not all houseboat operators followed its directives. “Only 637 of the 1,000-1,200 houseboats operating in the district have completed the registration process. We had stopped giving permission for new houseboats last year but new houseboats are still being launched.”

He said all houseboat operators were instructed to keep a clients’ register following the houseboat accident in Punnamada Lake on January 26 last year, which claimed four lives. “They were also directed to submit the register to the DTPC for inspection but they protested against it, We don’t have a clear picture about tourists hiring houseboats.”


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