In a bid to lure more tourists, the Kerala government is planning to launch a ‘sea plane service’ in the State and will soon conduct a study in this regard, Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told the Assembly on Tuesday.

Considering the distinctive environment condition of State’s backwaters and inland-waterways, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has been asked to conduct the study on the possibility of ‘sea plane services’, he said.

However, the government has no plans to conduct the service directly. It would only provide necessary logistic support to private sector if it comes forward with proposals, he said.

Kerala’s backwaters have been listed as one of the top places worth seeing by National Geographic Survey, he said. Issues such as inland fishing, backwater pollution and other environmental factors would be considered before taking a decision on the matter, he said.

CPI(M) leader V.N. Vasavan said the ‘sea plane service’ should connect different backwaters and lake tourist spots in the State to boost tourism.

Presently many tourists who arrive in Kochi return without visiting the famed Kumarakom backwaters due to paucity of transport facility, he said.

As per the economic review 2009, 5,98,929 foreign tourists and 75,91,250 domestic tourists arrived in the State in 2008, an increase of 16.11 per cent and 14.28 per cent respectively over 2007, he said.