Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The 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 six months.

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

Collaboration

The Ministry would also work with the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to focus on the 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.

Boost image

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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