Union Tourism Ministry has launched an initiative on ‘Safe and Honourable Tourism’ which would essentially promote the cause of protecting women and children from the negative aspects of tourism.

This is a step towards evolving a ‘code of conduct’ for all tourism service providers and protecting the culture, values and heritage to ensure long term sustainable and responsible tourism in India.

It has been decided that sensitisation programmes and awareness campaigns would be launched immediately across the country and an Action Plan would be drawn up so as to have the Code of Conduct in place within 6 months.

Reliable sources in the Ministry told The Hindu that this initiative is result of interaction between the Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee in association with Save the Children India, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Equitable Tourism Option (EQUATIONS) and NEST India Foundation through the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) India Chapter.

Safe destination

The Ministry would work with the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to focus on prevention of abuse and exploitation of women and children. The code of conduct is also expected to promote India as a safe destination for women, sources said.

The initiative has been taken to enhance the country’s image and add more value to the Incredible India Campaign, particularly in the wake of upcoming Commonwealth Games 2010 when a large number of foreigners are expected to visit India.

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