Cruising the backwaters: my holiday or their home?

Alison Stancliffe, Tourism Concern’s founder, describes her Kerala Backwaters experience: My favourite photo, taken recently in the Indian coastal state of Kerala, shows me climbing a coconut tree. I didn’t expect to find myself up a tree, as I’d set off to do something rather more serious – to check out houseboat tourism in Kerala’s […]

Dispatches from South India: Alleppey’s dirty waters

Voice: traveller A report by Veronique Meunier: Kerala’s backwaters are beautiful and a growing tourist magnet, but they hide a dirty secret as tourist boats ignore the rules about polluting the lake waters and threaten this lovely environment and the people who live there. Alleppey, or Allapuzha in the local language, is an instantly likeable place. Frequently referred to […]

Protecting the backwaters of Alleppey

For centuries the backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala have been used by local people for cooking, drinking and washing as well as for transportation, fishing and agriculture. They are also increasingly popular with tourists, who hire thatched houseboats to explore the tranquil palm-fringed waters and picturesque villages. However, unregulated tourism expansion is threatening rural communities and […]

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