Govt to set basic standards for adventure tourism in India

Govt to set basic standards for adventure tourism in India
The Centre has moved in to set basic standards for adventure tourism in India. The Ministry of Tourism has come up with draft guidelines for the Indian adventure tourism industry to cover a host of operational issues ranging from tourists safety, ethics and risk management.

A total of eighteen land-based adventure tourism activities, seven air-based tourism activities and six water-based activities, which are offered in India, have been covered under the draft guidelines.

This comes amid the Centre's efforts to boost the tourism sector in India with a new strategy. President Ram Nath Kovind recently launched a revamped version of the 'Incredible India' campaign to promote India as the most preferred tourist destination by applying new marketing strategy and infrastructure development.

The draft guidelines stipulate that all adventure tourism operators should be registered with the Tourism department of their respective States. They would also need to get recognition from the Union Tourism Ministry to operate.

Air Safari operators would require obtaining a prior security clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to undertake any microlight aircraft operations to take tourists on aerial trips over wildlife areas or other places of scenic beauty, the guidelines stipulate.

Hot Balloon operators will have to take permission from the local police stations and administrative authorities in their respective area of operations, besides obtaining permission from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for each area in which they plan to operate a flight.

For the river cruise tourism operators, it would be mandatory to obtain an approval of the State statutory authority. The class certification society and the State waterways authority will conduct annual inspections to certify the ship and give a fitness certificate to the vessel.

“Every five years the ship has to be dry docked if operating in fresh water and if operating in saltwater, it is drydocked every two years to ensure that the submerged parts of the ship are thoroughly inspected by both bodies,” the draft guidelines stipulate.

To enjoy All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) ride, a tourist under the age of 18 would require submitting a written consent of his or her parents. “ATVs are NOT toys and children aged below 18 years should only ride the right ATV for their age,” the guidelines stipulate.

All tourists would require furnishing an “indemnity bond” to participate in ATV rides. The guidelines, which have been formulated by a team of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) in consultation with the Ministry, says the equipment used for 'Bungee Jump' should be certified and procured from reputed companies.

“The storage and maintenance of (the Bungee Jump) equipment have to be proper. Regular inspection of the equipment should be carried out and the record should be maintained,” it added.

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