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Union Tourism Minister releases code of conduct for safe and honorable tourism

New Delhi: July 1,2010

 

       The Union Minister for Tourism, Kumari Selja today unveiled the code of conduct for Safe & Honourable Tourism in New Delhi.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Kumari Selja said, even though such code of ethics for tourism has earlier been developed by world bodies like UNWTO, the code of conduct unveiled today is based on meeting country’s futuristic needs and challenges. She said she would call it “our own innovation inspired by the existing code of ethics of UNWTO”.

 

She said, this code of Conduct was developed by Ministry of Tourism in association with  PATA India Chapter, Save the Children – India, United Nations Office on Drugs & Crimes (UNODC) and Equitable Tourism Option (EQUATIONS).

 

The Minister said, her Ministry has been running the social awareness campaign under the theme “Athithi Devo Bhavah” which also addresses issues relating to treating our women travellers with dignity.  A similar campaign needs to be initiated to sensitize the incoming tourists to refrain from indulging in any such activity which might disturb the social fabric of the country.

 

Kumari Selja urged all the Stake holders to adopt the code at the earliest. She said, a strong message needs to be conveyed to all tourists using the services of different organizations working for tourism sector that such organisations 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 today resolve to fight this darker side of tourism and bring hope.”

 

Kumari Selja said, Secretary (Tourism) would soon be organizing a series of workshops with stake holders to develop a plan of action for implementing this code.  This action plan will be aimed at widespread dissemination and would define methodology for adoption of this code of conduct.

 

The Secretary Tourism Shri Sujit Banerjee said that the code has been evolved keeping in mind the following objectives:

 

(i)                              Encourage tourism activities to be undertaken with respect for basic rights like dignity, safety and freedom from exploitation of both tourist and local residents,

(ii)                            Aid the prevention of prostitution, sex tourism and forms of sexual exploitations in tourism ,in particular women & Children

(iii)                           To enhance prevention of activities like forced or involuntary drug use, manipulated and incorrect information, cultural & Social intolerance which could increase vulnerability to crime.

 

A large number of stake holders in the tourism sector were present on the occasion. They include among others Representative of UNODC, EQUATIONS, Save the Children, PATA, Members of Travel and Hotels.

 

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