In this article, Himanshi Srivastava of Amity Law School, Lucknow discusses the licenses and registration required for starting a houseboat in Goa.

What are the houseboats service?

In India, houseboats are for accommodation for tourists which are commonly be seen in the area of Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir and other several other parts of the country.

Kerala Houseboats

Houseboats in Kerala, southern of  India, are wide, slow-moving boats used for comfort trips. They are copied from the model of Kettuvallams (in the Malayalam language, Kettu means “tied with ropes”, and vallam means “boat”), which, in past, were used to take rice and spices from Kuttanad to the Kochi sea port. They were considered a convenient means of transportation.

The charm of Kettuvallams has returned as major tourist attractions.

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The dimension of the houseboat is mostly sixty to seventy feet (18 to 21 meter) long and concerning fifteen feet (4.6 m) wide within the middle. The hull is created of picket planks that square measure command along by ropes of coconut fiber; the standard word is ‘Anjali’. The roof is created of bamboo poles and palm leaves. The outside of the boat is painted with protecting coats of edible nut oil.

Kashmir Houseboats

Unlike in Kerala, the houseboats in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir are usually stable. They are usually tied at the edges of the Dal Lake and Nageen lakes. Some of the houseboats were built in the early 1900s, and are still being there to give on rent out to tourists. These houseboats are made up of wood and usually have detailed carved wood structure. The houseboats are of different sizes, some of them are having up to three bedrooms other than a living room and kitchen.

Many travellers are attracted to Srinagar by the attraction of staying on a houseboat, which provides the different experience of living on the water in a cedar-paneled elegant rooms, with all the facilities of a luxury hotel. Srinagar’s thousand or so houseboats are tied along sections of the Dal and Nagin Lakes and the Jhelum River, each decorated fancifully and named romantically and even in a amusing way. Like hotels, houseboats are different in degree of luxury and have been accordingly graded by the Department of Tourism. A luxury houseboat, like a luxury hotel, has fine furniture, good carpets and modern bathroom fittings, while the lowest category of houseboats, like low-budget hotels, is spartanly furnished. Like hotels too, houseboats are differently wide in their locations. Some overlook the main road, others look out onto lotus gardens and others face tiny local markets and villages, which are also floating on the lake. All houseboats, regardless of category, have highly personalized service. Not only is there always a “houseboy” for every boat, but the owner and his family are often close by. The cost per day of hiring a houseboat includes all meals and free rides from the houseboat to the nearest jetty and back, as no houseboat on the lakes is directly accessible from the banks.[1]

Houseboats in Goa

To fancy a house boat expertise, tourists haven’t any longer to go to Kerala to measure on a sailing houseboat. Enterprising individuals like John have brought the Kerala Houseboats to Goan waters. Welcome to exhilarating expertise of sailing down the winding backwaters of Goan Rivers.

On the Houseboat Tours offered and arranged by Boat Tours, travellers will be able to Cruise down the Goan rivers during this specially hand crafted wood houseboat created in Kerala vogue. Fanciful river’s wind, lush foliage and picturesque beauty as you unwind and relax within the comforts of a deluxe house boat.  Houseboats square measure power-driven by an internal-combustion engine in order that they will cruise powerfully however wordlessly deep within the angiospermous tree coated riverside towards virgin hotspots of interior Goan rural are an circled by evergreen Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats, because the Goan hoy meanders through the backwaters of Goa, watch fishermen mend their nets, because the native baker passes by on his bicycle merchandising his freshly baked bread and cookies. Feel the ripples within the water because the stream merges with the mighty Arabian Sea. Travellers will be able to relax with a drink as your friends dive within the deep heat waters.

Registration and License of Houseboats in Goa

In GOA, DAMAN and DIU Registration of Tourist Trade Act, 1982, there are provisions of Registration and License which aims to regulate the tourism of these 3 tourist places. The Act defines Boat in:

Section 2 (aa) : ‘boat’ includes a houseboat, motorboat, motor launch, pedal boat, sailing boat[2] [parasailing and canoe];

Section 2 (e) : Hotel includes ‘any premises or part of premises including a houseboat, restaurant, bar or a tent where lodging with or without board or any kind of eatables or beverages is provided for a monetary consideration;

Registration of Houseboats

Section 7:-  (1) Every person intending to operate a hotel in a tourist area shall, before operating it, apply for registration to the prescribed authority in the prescribed manner.

 (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub section (1), any person already operating a hotel in a tourist area on the date of notification under clause (k) of section 2, shall apply for registration within three months from the aforesaid date.

(3) Every application made under sub section (1) shall be disposed off within a period of three months from the date of receipt of the application failing which the application shall be deemed to have been accepted for registration.

Section 8: Certificate of registration:

The prescribed authority shall, unless registration is refused under section 9, direct that the name and the particulars of the hotel and the hotel-keeper be entered in the register maintained for the purpose and shall issue a certificate to the hotel-keeper in the prescribed form.

Section 9: Refusal to register a hotel: (1) The prescribed authority may refuse to register a hotel under this Act on any of the following grounds, namely:

(a) if the hotel-keeper is convicted of any offence under Chapters XIV and XVI of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or under any of the provisions of this Act or of any offence punishable under any law providing for the prevention of hoarding, smuggling or profiteering or adulteration of food or drugs or corruption and two years have not elapsed since the termination of the sentence imposed upon him; Central Act 45 of 1860.

(b) if the hotel-keeper has been declared an insolvent by a Court of competent jurisdiction and has not been discharged;

 (c) if the name of the hotel-keeper has been removed from the register under clause (c) or clause (d) of section 10 and three months have not elapsed since the date of removal;

(d) if the hotel-keeper does not hold a licence or certificate required to be held by him under any law for the time being in force;

(e) if in the opinion of the prescribed authority there is sufficient ground, to be recorded in writing, for refusing registration.

(2) No application for registration shall be refused unless the person applying for registration has been afforded a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

Section 10: Removal of the name from the Register:

(1) The prescribed authority may, after giving an opportunity of being heard by an order in writing, remove the name of a hotel from the register and cancel its certificate on any of the following grounds, namely:—

(a) if the hotel-keeper ceases to operate the hotel in the tourist area for which it is registered;

(b) if the hotel-keeper is convicted of any offence under Chapters XIV and XVI of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 or under any of the provisions of this Act or of any offence punishable under any law providing for the prevention of hoarding, smuggling or profiteering or adulteration of food or drugs or corruption; Central Act 45 of 1860.

(c) if the hotel-keeper is declared an insolvent by a Court of competent jurisdiction and has not been discharged;

(d) if any complaint of malpractice is received and proved against a hotel-keeper.

(e) if the hotel-keeper has failed to renew the certificate within a period of one month from the date of its expiry.[3]

Section 10 (A)[4] Closure of hotel:  If the holder of a certificate issued under section 8 of this Act intends to close down his business in the premises during the period of validity of the certificate, he shall inform the same to the prescribed authority in writing at least fifteen days prior to the date on which he actually intends to close down the business along with original certificate].

(2) Any hotel the name of which is removed from the register under sub section (1) shall forthwith cease to operate.

Section 11. Classification of hotels and fixation of rates.— The prescribed authority may after following the procedure as may be prescribed and after giving an opportunity of being heard to the hotel-keeper, by notification in the Official Gazette, classify the hotels and award a grade to each hotel and also fix the reasonable maximum rate and the service charges, if any, commensurate with the standard of the hotel and the quality of food, accommodation and service, which may be charged by the hotel-keeper for board or lodge or for both from the person staying therein or from other customers:

Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to the hotels which are classified or graded by the Government of India or any board or authority under the Government of India or by or under an Act of Parliament.



[2] Inserted by the Amendment Act 7 of 2011.

[3] Inserted by the Amendment Act 7 of 2011.

[4] Inserted by the Amendment Act 7 of 2011.


  1. Useless article. Very poorly written. In fact it is not an original write-up. Appears to be a shoddy piece of Cut & paste, without applying any brains.
    I am surprised that the author is an aluminy of Amity !!
    God bless Amity, if such is your student intake.


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