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Code of conduct for `safe tourism` unveiled

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games, government today unveiled a code of conduct for the tourism industry, aimed at checking exploitation of both visitors and local residents and preventing sex tourism.



New Delhi: Ahead of the Commonwealth Games,
government today unveiled a code of conduct for the tourism
industry, aimed at checking exploitation of both visitors and
local residents and preventing sex tourism.

Unveiling the `code of conduct for safe and honourable
tourism,` Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja said though such
guidelines had earlier been developed by world bodies like
UNWTO, this one is based on the country`s futuristic needs
and challenges. She said she would call it "our own innovation
inspired by the existing code of ethics of UNWTO".

The code of conduct will be applicable to all the owners,
suppliers, contractors, employees of the travel and tour
sector including hotels, restaurants, lodges, guest houses,
tour agents and entertainment establishments.

It would also be applicable to service providers like
event management organisations, entertainment providers,
transport operators like taxis, buses, tour guides and other
services or agencies associated with the tourism sector.

She said this code of conduct was developed by Tourism
Ministry in association with Pacific Asia Travel Association
India Chapter, Save the Children?India, United Nations Office
on Drugs & Crimes (UNODC) and Equitable Tourism Option.

Selja said her Ministry has been running a social
awareness campaign under the theme "Athithi Devo Bhavah"
(guest is god) which also addresses issues relating to
treating the women travellers with dignity.

A similar campaign needs to be initiated to sensitise
the incoming tourists to refrain from indulging in any such
activity which might disturb the social fabric of the country,
the Minister felt.

Selja urged all stakeholders to adopt the code at the
earliest.

She said a strong message needs to be conveyed to all
tourists using the services of different organisations working
for tourism sector that such establishments will not in any
way be party to activities that exploit women and children.

The Minister said, "You also have a big role to play as
ears and eyes of the industry and bring any such instances of
exploitation to the notice of law enforcing agencies. Let us
all resolve to fight this darker side of tourism."

Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee said the code has been
evolved to encourage tourism activities to be undertaken with
respect for basic rights like dignity, safety and freedom from
exploitation of both tourist and local residents.

The aim is also to prevent prostitution, sex tourism and
different forms of sexual exploitation in tourism,
particularly of women and children, he said.

Selja honoured mountaineers Arjun Vajpai and Mamta Sodha
who had recently climbed the Everest summit.

-PTI

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