Helicopter Tourism Becomes Popular Kumarakom, Kerala

The initiative shortens travel time by covering the distance between Cochin International Airport and Kumarakom in around 25 minutes
Backwaters of Kumarakom
Backwaters of KumarakomShutterstock

In December 2023, Kerala Tourism inaugurated a helicopter tourism project in Kumarakom to give tourists a memorable aerial journey through picturesque landscapes. Going by the latest reports, it has been quite a success. Tourists can enjoy stunning aerial views of the backwaters and lush flora of Alappuzha and Kumarakom through helicopter tourism. The project also cuts down on travel time with the distance from Cochin International Airport to Kumarakom covered in about 25 minutes, with helicopters seating 5 to 10 passengers. Resorts anticipate more bookings as a result of the shorter travel time.

Currently, resorts operate helicopter tourism packages independently, with two luxury places, Suri Resort and Kumarakom Lake Resort, already outfitted with helipads. The state government's latest helicopter tourism project may soon be announced and launched in collaboration with private parties.

A canoe at the backwaters of Kerala
A canoe at the backwaters of KeralaShutterbugtrails/Shutterstock

Kumarakom beckons domestic and international travellers every year with its backwaters, lakes, and historical sites. The town boasts beaches fringed with coconut trees and idyllic shores that remain relatively undiscovered, accessible only via rented boats in Kumarakom's town centre or nearby towns like Kottayam or Alappuzha.

The Helitaxi Project

In early January, Kerala Tourism had announced the launch of a Helitaxi project. At the inauguration, the State Tourism Minister PA Mohammed Riyas highlighted the collaborative efforts with stakeholders and helicopter operators steering this ambitious venture in Kerala. The minister emphasised the Department of Tourism's role as a facilitator, supporting licensed operators entering into Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs). Guided by research, the government will assist stakeholders in initiatives promoting "heli tourism" but will not directly engage in services, operations, or financial support. He also clarified that while Helitaxis may appeal to travellers swiftly exploring multiple destinations, the government has no plans to develop airstrips.

A church in the backwaters of Kumarakom
A church in the backwaters of Kumarakom Luc Kohnen/Shutterstock

In the initial phase, Kochi was selected as a heli tourist hub, facilitating connections to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Jatayu Rock, the backwaters of Kumarakom and Alappuzha, hill stations, and other sites, including northern Kasaragod. The concept calls for expanding the network by leveraging existing operating helipads and investigating new collaborations with private landowners.

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