Mr. T G Raghu, a pioneer in the backwater tourism industry of Kerala, has started the Alleppey Tourism Development Co-operative Society Ltd (ATDC) in 1986, the first co-operative move in Kerala for promoting tourism. Conducted cruise from Alleppey to Kollam and back through the waterways of the villages was its initial venture to lure the tourists to the backwaters of the land. ‘With three tourists on board, the inaugural trip was a modest start but was a milestone in the backwater tourism of Kerala.
‘In the first trip we started with three Europeans, now 25 years down, around 250 tourists are travelling between Alappuzha and Kollam every day,’ said Mr. T G Raghu, Secretary, ATDC. It provided tourists with a rare chance to enjoy the beautiful and spectacular sights of Kuttanadu and elsewhere at very economic rates. The “Elephant Pageant”, organized with 51 elephants on 11 August 1989 from Alappuzha Recreation Ground to Municipal Ground, provided a novel experience to the tourists as well as the natives. It had organized a motor boat rally, the first of its kind, in Aleppey in 1990. In 1991, the ATDC built the first non-mechanized houseboat, providing the voyage with a nostalgic feeling.
It now aims to expand the business. It has plans to start a new resort project in Malabar especially in Wayanad, expanding its geographical presence to northern area. To connect backwaters, beaches and hill stations and to provide a complete package, the group has purchased 4.5 acres of pepper estate in Thekkady. ’There will be expansion in the current facility at Marari beach too’, said Mr. T.G Raghu. This, along with ten other upcoming projects, will make the Marari beach a complete destination soon. To promote farm tourism of Kuttanadu, a rice village resort project facing the paddy fields is also on cards. A luxury resort with 40 rooms at Anakkara in Kerala-Tamil Nadu border will be completed by 2012.
The infrastructure backbone of the ATDC, such as the houseboats, luxury cruisers, resorts and villages, belong to the Edakkadu group of companies. The Edakkadu Group of Companies includes Kerala Backwaters Private Limited, Coir Village Lake Resort Private Limited, Aleppey Fishermen Village Beach Resort Private Limited, and Pepper Village Hill Resorts Private Limited. The group has a variety of properties at different destinations to enable it to provide complete Kerala tour packages connecting backwaters, beaches and hill stations.
The Coir Village Lake Resort Ltd, another group company, owns a beautiful backwater island resort which has 25 independent well appointed luxurious A/c and non A/c cottages equipped with all the modern amenities. Thick vegetation dominated by the palm trees surrounding the cottages add to the greenery and beauty of this little paradise. The four hour long cruise to Coir Village along the enchanting backwaters will be a rare opportunity to experience Kerala’s backwater life. Alleppey Fishermen Village, an exquisite beach resort situated at Mararikulam, has 10 independent air conditioned cottages. Both these properties transcend the real beats of Kerala village life.
Alleppey Tourism Development Co-operative Society Ltd. (ATDC)
2nd Floor, Municipal Library Shopping Complex, Opp. Boat Jetty, Alleppey -13, Kerala, India
Phone: 91-477- 2264462, 2261693, 2230583