Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: KTDC chairman Cheriyan Philip has called for organising boat festivals in Kerala between November and February in order to make them more beneficial to tourists.

He said here on Friday that thousands of foreign tourists would benefit if the one-day Nehru Trophy Boat Race held in August was postponed to November.

He also called for converting it to a week-long event from November 14 which was Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth date.

The tourism relevance of several places could be increased if the boat races organised in lakes and rivers during the Onam season other than the Aranmula Uthruttathi boat race were held during the tourist season.

He said that a change in the calendar of boat races could make water festivals a major attraction of Kerala Tourism. Weekly exhibition of boat races in these places could even turn out to be a profitable venture.

He wanted the Tourism and the Sports Departments to prepare a permanent calendar of water festivals in a manner beneficial to tourism packages and government financial assistance be made available for recognised festivals.