A tiger safari is the epitome of a memorable and unique holiday experience. But at the end of July 2012, the Supreme Court in India imposed an interim ban on all tiger tourism within the core areas of the National Parks in India. This ban is due for a hearing tomorrow.
This suspension has brought the wildlife tourism community and its supporters to gather together, employing the best legal brains to put a clear case before the judges for the continuation of wildlife tourism, and a clear, consultative review of the guidelines proposed, alongside a statement on the use of 'critical tiger habitats'.
Original Travel has been contributing to TOFT (Tour Operators for Tigers), alongside over 20 of the worlds best known operators, to help fund legal counsels to advocate for a lifting of the tiger tourism ban and more participatory Ecotourism Guidelines. The funds raised are being used to support the interventions of the Guide Association of Madhya Pradesh and the Kanha Lodge Association in tomorrow's court case. There are over 67 separate legal teams intervening on the case tomorrow, representing all the different stakeholders - from local communities in Kanha to an 11 year old boy, claiming his right to see tigers when he grows up.
There have been mass demonstrations across India in the lead up to this hearing. If the ban is not lifted, this is not only going effect the tiger, but also tens of thousands of the local people's livelihoods who rely on the tourism. Fingers and toes crossed for a good outcome tomorrow.