TOURISM BAN LIFTED - TOFT COMMENTS ON JUDGEMENT

16 October 2012

Today’s Supreme Court judgement is good news, with the present ban being lifted on wildlife tourism that was imposed in July.

“The ban has ensured the airing of a range of opinions that this highly contentious topic, produced some Ecotourism guidelines to stop poor tourism, but has also badly affected hundreds of thousands of local livelihoods, and legitimate businesses, both directly or indirectly. It’s now time to get back to work, to ensure that revenues that flow through park fees back into conservation and communities start flowing again, that livelihoods are restored, and legitimate businesses are allowed to continue to show India’s very best natural heritage to its citizens.” says TOFT India Director Vishal Singh.

For a decade TOFT has been calling for better and more visionary guidelines for nature tourism, that take into account evidence based science, park geography, ground reality, carry capacity and community and management issues, and drawing on the best of practices and experiences from around the world. Only time will tell whether this ban and its new prescriptive guidelines will help solve the issues created by the boom in nature tourism within India best known parks.

“My real concern now is for forests, infact 97% of India’s remaining forest landscape, which today remains unloved, unprotected and unknown, and is increasingly devoid of wildlife, overgrazed and exploited. Sadly there is nothing in these guidelines that gives anyone, the MOEF, communities or nature tourism, a legal ‘road map’ as to how they can be restored, restocked and revitalised. That to me is a real sadness and a real missed opportunity.” says the TOFT Chairman, Julian Matthews.

TOFT hopes that this ban and its heated debates, has helped to focus every stakeholder, from Panchayat heads to Field Directors, from park guides to lodge owners, to work together, and in far greater harmony, with great inclusion and partnership, to save more of India’s precious jungles and wildlife over the coming years.

More Archived TOFT News

Wildlife Tourism Awards 2016 Gala event on 23 September 2016
28 September 2016

The winners were announced at a prestigious Gala event in the grounds of the British High Commissioners Residence, where 250 of India’s best known nature tourism businesses, conservationists, forest and tourism officers, naturalists and guides, gather for this biennial Awards event. Tiger advocate Valmik Thapar and one of India’s top bureaucrats, Amitabh Kant were guests of honour and spoke about the critical need for responsible nature tourism and its value to India’s wildlife. Madhya Pradesh kindly the State partners and a host of TOFTigers members have sponsored the events. - Read more...


Shortlist for forthcoming 2016 Wildlife Tourism Awards agreed
03 September 2016

TOFTigers Award committee have agreed the shortlist for the forthcoming 2016 Wildlife Tourism Awards. Nominations and voting over the last 4 months has been collected and scrutinised and today we agreed the shortlist for the ‘best of the Best’ in nature tourism across India and Nepal. The shortlist and winners are announced at a prestigious Gala event in the grounds of the British High Commissioners Residence, for the fourth time, where 250 of India’s best known nature tourism businesses, conservationists, forest and tourism officers, naturalists and guides, gather for the prestigious event. Madhya Pradesh are the State partners and a host of TOFTigers members have sponsored the events. - Read more...


Tiger State Partners Wildlife Tourism Awards as sponsor
16 July 2016

With its concentration of Tiger Reserves, Madhya Pradesh Tourism has taken the lead in becoming a State Partner for this year’s TOFTigers Wildlife Tourism Awards. We hope other sponsors will join them in a celebration of the best of the best in wildlife tourism with our headline media sponsors Sanctuary Asia and Outlook Traveller. The Award winners will be announced on 23rd September at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi – a date for your diary. - Read more...


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