Tourism activities at Sambranikodi in Kollam to be regulated


Sambranikodi island, a major tourist hotspot in Kollam district, is gearing up for reopening after a gap of four months. The island was closed in July following an accident. This time, tourism-related activities will be strictly regulated and additional safety measures, including online booking, will be in place.

“We are planning to reopen the island by mid-December. Access to the island will be regulated to protect the area and we will be introducing a new system so that 70% of the tickets can be booked online,” said District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) secretary Remya R. Kumar.

While there was no regulation on the daily tourist inflow earlier, now the number of visitors entering the island at a time will be restricted to 100. “Limited number of tickets will be issued from all the boarding points and the visitors can stay at the island only for a fixed time,” she added.

While tour operators and boatmen insist that the island is safe with waist-deep water, authorities said the carrying capacity of the place is a major concern. Since the island is part of Ashtamudi Ramsar site, Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society (TEPS) will be conducting a study to assess environmental impacts of tourism activities in the area. Experts feel that heavy tourist footfall during holidays and “irresponsible behaviour” of visitors and operators can lead to serious issues.

According to the Tourism department, a large number of unlicensed private boats and businesses had been operating in the area. “We will be issuing licenses to operate services to the island. All safety measures, including life jackets, will be ensured in boats. While vendors will not be allowed, steps will be taken to make the island plastic-free and enforce green protocol,” said Ms. Kumar.

The closing of the island had affected tour operators and local businesses who has been waiting for the reopening. “We get a lot of enquiries as the place used to be an important destination for houseboats and was part of many popular packages. Apart from hundreds of visitors from Kollam and nearby districts, long-distance travellers add it to their itinerary. We have been struggling for the last four months,” said a local resident.


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