In order to overcome the deep slump in demand due to the pandemic, the Kerala houseboats are offering all kinds of discounts and schemes to customers. The segment of Kerala Tourism industry which was struggling to meet the demand of customers till last year is facing an entirely different scenario this year.
The houseboat operators are not only offering discounts up to 50% on their normal tariffs, but are also offering the book-now-and-travel-later kind of schemes to attract customers.
The market situation is quite unprecedented, concedes Jobin Akkarakalam, owner of Spice Routes Luxury Cruises, and Vice President of Kerala Houseboat Owners Federation. However, he sees the demand picking up gradually for houseboats during Christmas and the New Year.
“Families largely prefer houseboats over hotels during holidays as houseboats are safer,” he says. But this increase in demand is nowhere close to what it was last year. “We are only doing 20 to 30% now compared to last year.”
Companies like Spice Routes are making their packages attractive by offering customers 50% discount for packages for all bookings till December 31, which the customers can avail anytime between January 5 and March 31, 2021.
The houseboat companies are also eyeing the festive season in Tamil Nadu like Pongal to get some traffic.
The operators also want the state government to review its quarantine protocols to remove any kind of confusion in the minds of the domestic travellers. “The Health Department in Kerala is quite strict when it comes to quarantine rules. This is a concern for the tourism sector,” Jobin said.
The delay by the India government to reopen international borders and issue tourist visas is also making the process of revival tough since Kerala backwaters and houseboats are quite popular among international tourists.
Source : https://travel.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/destination/states/kerala-houseboats-to-woo-domestic-travellers-with-heavy-discounts/79839192