Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Adventure tourism: House panel flags lack of safety norms for guides

NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 1: Flagging its concerns over the lack of safety norms, training, and standardisation of equipment related to adventure tourism activities, Rajya Sabha’s Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture recommended that the Union Ministry of Tourism enact a law to regulate services in the areas of exploration and travel involving a certain degree of risk.
In its report tabled in the Parliament recently, the panel noted that strict adherence to safety guidelines and implementation of safety protocols could be possible only if responsible and licensed or certified adventure tour operators handle the activities.
After the attention was drawn towards the shortage of well-trained guides for adventure sports in the country, the Committee recommended the Ministry to explore possibilities for setting up more training institutions at par with global standards, especially in the southern States, considering they have different terrain.
“The committee also feels that the training institutes are mostly located in North India with a focus on high altitude mountaineering, which is not so relevant for adventure sports in South India. It recommends that at least one or two training institutes should be established in South India, which focuses on adventure sports suitable for its topography, altitude and climate”, the report read.
The Committee is headed by Rajya Sabha MP V Vijayasai Reddy of YSR Congress. It has 31 MPs as its members. The panel has also sought data on the number of accidents and casualties that have taken place during adventure tourism activities in the last 5 years. It also asked the Ministry what action has been taken or is proposed against the unlicensed adventure tour operators.
“The Committee stresses that high-risk adventure sports cannot be regulated only by guidelines and recommends that the Ministry may make all efforts to come out with laws soon so that only licensed and responsible operators who adhere to the stipulated safety norms remain in business to provide adventure tourism services”, the report stated.
Tourism Ministry says law drafted for States
The Tourism Ministry has informed the panel that it has drafted the Adventure Tourism Model law, which covers the obligations, institutional framework, penalties, registration and the provision of insurance. The draft is a reference that States can adopt with requisite modifications at their level.
(Courtesy: TNIE)