Aiming to ensure international standards of safe tourism practices, Government has finalised an action plan for an aggressive awareness campaign in certain "vulnerable" destinations in the country, including training programmes for service providers.
To begin with, five "most vulnerable" places for tourist exploitation in the country would be selected for spreading awareness among service privides including guides, tour operators, hoteliers, auto and taxi drivers. "The five places which are more prone to crime involving tourists in drug abuse, immoral traffic, child abuse, cheating and other similar crimes will be identified shortly for launching a sustained campaign promoting safe and honourable tourism," said a senior Tourism Ministry official. Certain tourist places in Kerala, Goa and north-east and areas like Pahargunj in Delhi are likely to be identified in the first phase for a focussed awareness campaign involving service providers.
The ministry has already finalised the code of conduct for safe and honourable tourism to check prostitution, sex tourism and involuntary drug use among other things. Seeking a proactive role of service providers, the Ministry decided to involve auto and taxi drivers, guest house owners, policemen, guides and tour operators to prevent unethical practices in tourism sector. "We have decided to conduct a short-term five-day training programmes for service providers to sensitise them about the safe and honorable tourism," said the official adding "the module of the tarining capsule would be ready shortly".