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

TOFTigers' welcomes Orange County, Coorg
19 November 2014

A luxurious experience of plantation life in the coffee and spice-scented hills of Coorg and an opportunity to get a glimpse of the region’s charming Kodava race are combined with responsibility at Orange County Coorg which has achieved an Outstanding eco-rating from the outset. Bordered by the legendary river Cauvery, and surrounded by virginal forests, Orange County Coorg is situated amidst a 300-acre working plantation. The resort offers 63 luxury suites inspired by plantation life and local Kodava architecture – each with private courtyards, sit-out areas and private swimming pools. On offer are guided tours of the plantation, nature walks and bird watching with the resort’s naturalists, coracle boat outings and village visits combined with a fabulous range of dining options including local cuisine. Orange County Coorg is actively involved in supporting their local community, and promoting local culture, appreciation of nature and responsible practice. They have an excellent approach to eco management from waste and water management to energy conservation and replanting indigenous trees. - Read more...

NEW DMC Member - R Ventures Holidays
18 November 2014

R Ventures is a tourism company specialising in experiential customized culture and adventure holiday in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Set up over 28 years ago by the Sharma siblings who were introduced to nature and adventure by their renowned mountaineering father, R Ventures handles more than 2,000 customers a year and has offices in Gurgaon and Australia. Group clients have included World Wildlife Fund USA, Stanford Alumni, Steve McCurry Photography, Peregrine Adventures, Remote Lands to name a few. R Ventures aims to maximise the positive impacts of tourism by supporting local communities and promotes responsible tourism practice to its clients. - Read more...

Boost for TOFTigers from Australia
06 November 2014

Welcome to Viv’s India, a subsidiary of Viv’s Travel Bug who have joined TOFTigers’ international tour operator network from Australia. Viv’s Travel Bug offers adventurous travel to Africa, India and other destinations around the world. Started by Viv Craig, a travel specialist with over twenty years experience and a passion for adventure, the company develops personalised packages for all including a specialist service for Gap student and young people’s travel. African Adventures, Incredible India, South America, Sports and Eco Tours are amongst their offers. Set to expand their business in India, with an emphasis on wild life, their Awards relating to other parts of the world include Travel Week Magazine Australian Travel Award ‘Africa and Gulf countries’ Best Travel Consultant in 2006 and ‘South America’ Best Travel Consultant Runner-up 2009. Viv promotes sustainable travel and eco-tourism whenever she can. - Read more...

blog comments powered by Disqus



(You should be logged in to post a comment)

All Comments