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India welcomes tourists to visit tribal communities while adhering to new g...

Posted on Tuesday 28 February 2012 in India, Adventure

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Experiencing new and exotic cultures is often on the list of things to do for many travellers who take holidays abroad.  - Adventure Travel News

Experiencing new and exotic cultures is often on the list of things to do for many travellers who take holidays abroad. This can be accomplished by taking guided tours to remote villages and towns, or by attending traditional events and festivals. However, those who wish to explore more isolated tribes may be interfering in a way that is too intense for local residents to handle. According to Travel Biz Monitor, some officials in Orissa, an eastern state of India, are concerned about the people who live there and the influence some tourists may be having on their livelihood.

Orissa has more than 60 tribal communities residing within its borders, which is the second highest in the country. Some of these people are categorised as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, or PVTGs, for their unique customs and small numbers. Roughly 90,000 individuals live in these tribes and many do welcome outside tourists to learn about their history and day-to-day life inside their often remote residences.

However, the government wishes to impose some new guidelines on travellers who want to interact with these PVTGs. This will ensure everyone safety and the preservation of the authenticity of these groups of native people. Some rules will be new, such as not permitting guests to stay overnight too close to the communities or going inside the families homes. All tour operators who offer trips to these locales will have to adhere to the new laws enforced by the local government. These organisations will need to register their intentions and not depict tribal people on their promotional materials inappropriately

"Due to threat from extremists, tourists seldom go to PVTG villages and prefer to visit haats where such tribal people come," said an official tour operator in the area, according to the new source. "The government should focus on building capacities of such communities so that they benefit from tourism while preserving their traditions."

Aussie travellers who have considered taking a holiday in India may wish to venture to Orissa and see some traditional tribal customs. If tourists do decide to incorporate these excursions into their travel itineraries, they may want to check up on current laws and regulations so as not to offend any residents and to keep both guests and locals safe.

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