Bangalore: The Centre today asked the state
governments to take necessary steps for protection of tourists
against crime and disaster situations.
Safety and security of tourists were matters of worldwide
concern and these were important for the growth of tourism
sector. The state governments should ensure security to
tourists against crime and disaster situations, Union Minister
for Tourism Selja told a regional conference of tourism
ministers of southern states here.
The matter regarding constitution of Tourist Police
Organisation in states and union territories has been taken up
from time to time and guidelines for setting up of tourist
security organisation, comprising ex-servicemen, for safety
and security of tourists have also been formulated, she said.
True potential of tourism lies in responsible practices
on both the demand and supply sides of tourism chain, enabling
an effective response to climate change, the minister said.
As part of "sustainable tourism route", the ministry has
adopted a Rural Tourism Project, to strengthen skilled rural
artisan communities, in association with UN Development
Programme. Over 150 rural sites have been selected under this
initiative, out of which 28 are in southern states, she said.
Tax incentives for new hotels coming up in World Heritage
Sites have been announced wherein RBI has agreed to de-link
hotel projects from commercial real estate classification for
credit purposes, enabling hotels to obtain credit and liberal
conditions and low interest rates, Selja added.