1. Objectives of wilderness tourism:
The cause of conservation of forests and wildlife can be furthered if they are appreciated, respected and enjoyed by the public. The Forest Department shall encourage and permit wilderness tourism in specified areas of the National Parks / Sanctuaries / Forests, as a conservation tool. It is necessary that tourists desirous of entering wilderness areas should have interest in the flora and fauna. Casual tourists shall be discouraged.
2. Activities permissible for wilderness tourists:
One or more of the following activities are permissible:
a. Safari in vehicles or on elephant-back to observe wildlife along designated paths.
b. Trekking/nature walk through designated paths.
c. Overnight camping in designated camping sites.
d. Bird watching and study of flora & fauna.
e. Boating to view wildlife.
f. Any other activity as may be specifically permitted.
3. Facilities for wilderness tourism:
The Following facilities may be created for a purpose:
a. Interpretation centres and guide facilities
Nature interpretation Centres may be established wherever necessary. Staff and guides may be trained to assist wilderness tourists during safari, trekking, nature education and other permitted activities.
b. Nature camps
A limited number of nature camps with basic facilities may be established to serve the student community and the general public to enable them to get the feel of the forest.
c. Forest Rest Houses
Some of the existing forest Rest Houses may be thrown open in a limited manner to wilderness enthusiasts.
4. Restrictions on the tourist capacity:
The wilderness areas are sacrosanct, and should continue to sustain themselves in pristine state. Therefore, the entry of the number of tourists permissible shall be kept within limits.
5. Wilderness tourism operators:
Wilderness tourism may be operated through the following agencies:
a. Jungle Lodges & Resorts Ltd.
b. Adventure groups like Youth Hostels Association of India.
c. Direct entry where Departmental facilities exist.
Private resorts will be permitted to operate within National Parks / Wildlife Sanctuaries or their enclosures.
6. Benefits to local community:
Wilderness Tourism should benefit the local community, especially tribal. The department shall work out ways and means by which such benefits are accrued. It is expected that this Wilderness Tourism Policy results in better conservation of forest resources and education to the general public, while benefiting the local community.