ALAPPUZHA: The houseboat industry here is set to go cashless and hi-tech with the district administration and a start-up at Cherthala joining hands to implement a ‘Digital and Cashless Tourism Project’ from next week. The holidaymakers can select the houseboats through their mobile phones and also pay the bills. All the houseboats will have GPS facility and the tourism department and the district administration can track them. The brainchild of the start- up Vehicle Safety Trip (Vehicle ST) functioning on the KSIDC campus at Angamaly, the project is being executed by the district administration with the technical support of its Cherthala Infopark branch.
Alvin George, CEO of Vehicle ST, said an app christened Vehicle ST can be downloaded from the Google playstore and the tourists can see the segment of the houseboats. When they click it, they can see various types of houseboats, facilities, charges and contact numbers. “You can also post your demand for the houseboats and cruising date in the segment and select the houseboats.
The app will also help the tourists reach the location of their reserved houseboat without anybody’s help,’’ said Alvin. M. Naveendev, chief operating officer of the project, said an LED monitor inside the houseboat will show the navigation route, return time, other tourism facilities and destinations in Alappuzha. The houseboat operators can also advertise on the monitor, he said. The cost of installing the LED monitor, swiping machines and GPS facilities in the boats is Rs 24,000 each, he said.