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

New International Tour Operator Member - Tears for Tigers Travel
05 October 2015

Founded by Jack Baucher and based in the UK, TfT Travel has been built off half a decade of guiding in the Himalayan region with a particular interest in Nepal. They specialise in organising wildlife, culture and adventure tours to those parts of the Indian sub-continent where the habitat and those species within it are under threat of extinction. All tours are bespoke and personalised - stay in the best hotels, lodges and camps or if you want more adventure, they will also organise treks, motorbike tours and participation in conservation projects in the region. - Read more...

Golden Tusk receives a Quality Practice PUG Rating
29 September 2015

Just five minutes of drive from the Jhirna & Dhela safari zones, The Golden Tusk is a boutique resort spread in over seven acres of landscaped estate nestled at the edge of reserve forest and on the banks of river Dhela. Withdraw yourself from the routine and immerse yourself in the leisure activities for all age groups in & around in this quaint locality. The resort offers a complete getaway experience with 40 well-appointed accommodation, range of indoor and outdoor activities, spa, swimming pool, multi-cuisine restaurant, barbecue deck & water dining experience.An organic kitchen garden that fulfills a partial requirement for the kitchen while their bakery provides fresh bread and cakes. - Read more...

New Member Lodge – Stanmore Tea Estate Bungalow receives a Quality Practice PUG Rating
10 September 2015

Located on a hillock in the picturesque Anaimalai Hills, the Stanmore Tea Estate Bungalow offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and tea plantations. This 6,000 square feet British-era homestead comprises four bedrooms and additionally has five wooden chalets and two wooden suites in the compound. - Read more...

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