A tourism master plan that stresses provision of basic infrastructure for development of backwater tourism in the district and with special focus on protection of the environment has been submitted to the district administration for approval.

The master plan, prepared by the Thiruvananthapuram-based Pillai Associates, which had been tasked with the job, was submitted to District Collector Venugopal on Saturday. The plan comprises tourism development projects worth Rs.220 crore apart from aiming at balanced development of tourist spots from Aroor to Kayamkulam that would benefit 58 panchayats and three municipalities.

While calling for setting up of more houseboat terminals, rest points and new routes for houseboats, the Master Plan also suggests that the licences for houseboats should be for specific routes and not to operate wherever they wantedRecommending South and North Vembanad, certain areas alongside the Pampa, in Kayamkulam and Kuttanad as possible new routes with potential, the plan also calls for the removal and re-construction of certain bridges at Kidangara, Vattakayal and Pulinkunnu that were currently obstructing free movement of boats.

The Master Plan also calls for setting up of cultural and shopping centres at more spots.