The tourism industry in Kerala has evolved over years in to a significant one, thanks to the varied natural attractions and efforts made by the State providing necessary infrastructure required by the sector. It is imperative that in order to add impetus to the growth of tourism Industry in Kerala, there must be an effective and efficient water based tourism. The backwater tourism is one of the most important tourist products of Kerala. Cruising along the backwaters of Kerala in a houseboat is an enchanting experience for the tourists.
In the whole world, similar type of tourism can be experienced in Netherlands only. There are thousands of small and big sized cruise boats including house boats and shikaras currently operating in our pristine backwaters of Alappuzha. However, pollution of backwaters and other water bodies due to tourism activities is a major concern. These boats are emitting huge quantities of oil residues & carbon dioxide posing health hazards to thousands of people depending on the backwaters. Irresponsible tourism has destabilized the villages where their life has been affected adversely. Oil spills from numerous conventional tourist boats destroys paddy cultivation, and also render the water frequently undrinkable. Environment awareness has been developed so progressively and turns into the instant need over the last few years. All disciplines of water transport have a particular responsibility of environmentally friendly development and lead towards sustainable future development. The enormous number of boats also leads to unhealthy competition among the service providers.
Solar cruise boats are innovative and efficient solutions that will be big relief from the pollution. Unlike the conventional boats, solar boats are silent electrical boats, with clean engines and zero-emissions. It will also enhance the business opportunity adding more value to cruise boating service offered. Traveller can experience a pleasure ride without fusty & disturbing engines. Solar boats will reclaim the damaged Ecosystem and will have a direct impact of livelihood of the people dependent on waters.
Solar boats do not require any costs for fuel and lubricants. Moreover, maintenance costs for the electric drive and the storage battery are low. State government (Kerala ports) is also encouraging investment in this sector.
Solar cruise boats is now becoming a practicality in the tourism industry, cost effective approach with out compromising the quality and safety of the boats is now achievable with the extensive experience in the solar cruise manufacturing. Navgathi is one such firm which is confident enough to commit in this industry. Manufacturing of Solar cruise boats with small passenger capacities viz. 10 Pax, 12 Pax, 20 Pax is already underway in the navgathi yards.
Design of a dedicated electric propulsion system for these boats was not a tedious process when the expertise of big sized solar ferry like ADITYA – India’s first solar ferry, which is operational from the year 2017 is at our disposal.