Tents for tourists: India issues guidelines

July 14th, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Those going on pilgrimage, or venturing out to distant wildlife and adventure spots need no longer fret about where to stay. Aware of an acute shortage of rooms for tourists, India Monday decided to follow in the footsteps of many tourist-friendly nations and cleared guidelines on campsites or te4nted accomodations. “The setting up of camp sites can be instrumental in promoting and facilitating eco, adventure and pilgrimage tourism in the country,” a statement of the ministry said here.

Guidelines have been drawn for setting up camps in wildlife, adventure and pilgrimage spots, at new or other destinations. The camp sites will offer both luxury and standard facilities.

The guidelines also list the minimum and maximum number of units possible - from six to 50 - depending on the location and type of camp. “The camps could have semi-built structures and rooms, kitchen and storage,” it said.

Also a tourist reception centre (TRC) may be constructed in a manner that blends with nature and the location.

According to the norms, the accommodations should focus on safety, hygiene and environment friendly measures for garbage disposal, sensible use of plastic, alternate energy resources and the installation of fire-fighting equipment.

Apart from how much land can be used for setting up these units, the guidelines also highlight the need for involving local communities.

The step was taken as the country faces an acute shortage of places to stay for tourists, resulting in a mismatch of demand and supply, and driving up the prices of hotel accommodation, ministry officials say.

In 2007, about five million foreigners travelled to India and the country gets around 500 million domestic tourists.

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