Bhubaneswar: State Government’s strict restrictions on the visit of foreign tourists and researchers to the tribal areas has left the tour operators of the State in a surprised state.
As said by Travel Agents Association of Orissa, the Government’s decision will hit the operators as the decision was taken in the middle of the tourist season that too unilaterally, without consulting the industry. Now the operators will have to cancel the tours they have already booked and hence will face financial problems.
Following the recent controversy regarding tribal tourism, the State Government had imposed regulations on the visit of foreign tourists to the location where primitive tribal communities such as Bonda, Dongaria Kandhas and other such communities live. If any tourist or researcher wants to visit these communities then he has to take a written permission from District Magistrate. The permission can be applied from the District Magistrate through the District Tourist Officer. A copy of the same will be sent to the local police station.
The permitted visitors can interact with tribal community in the presence of Government approved tribal guides. Visitors can not enter into the house of the tribal nor they can stay in the tribal village during the night. They can not take pictures or videos of the tribal people. No entertainment program will be performed by the tribals for the visitors.
If the visitors or tour operator violate any of these rules then they will be arrested by the police and legal cases will be lodged against them.