Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan flew in a parasail towed behind a boat on the Payyambalam beach here on Saturday in connection with the inauguration of the Adventure Tourism Centre here.

The Minister fit himself in comfortably inside the harness and took a few steps, as was asked by instructors, before he was airborne in a solo flight, with the crew on the boat controlling the chute.

Before he landed, the boat slowed down to allow the parasail to lower to the ground. The Minister told the people gathered there that he experienced no fear during the ride. Many people, including foreign tourists, watched the inauguration of the adventure tourism centre on the beach. MLAs A.P. Abdullakutty, M. Prakashan and P. Jayarajan and District Collector V.K. Balakrishnan were present at the inaugural function.

The centre will offer various adventure rides for tourists. The adventure tourism activities are launched jointly by the District Tourism Promotion Council and the Kurumbranad Hotels and Tourism Private Ltd.

Inaugurating the centre, Mr. Balakrishnan said that steps would be taken to develop beach and backwater tourism in the State. The importance of backwater tourism was increasing by the day, he said, adding that the government was planning to focus on the backwater tourism spots in the State.