To advocate, plan, support and fund the protection, conservation and rewilding of natural wilderness and their wild inhabitants, especially tiger habitat, through the clever and wise use of nature tourism, using better visitor guidance, more community involvement, targeted green investment and enhanced governance and monitoring.
Within the United Nations Millennium goals as well as ongoing research from credible agencies including World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is the recognition that well-conceived, well planned and well managed tourism is a critical tool today in wildlife protection and conservation, rural and community development, poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods.
Nature tourism itself can place a significant economic value on standing intact forests; as a living breathing ecosystem critical to the long term health and ecological security of the Indian sub-continent and all its inhabitants who live within its reach. This tangible value, set against today’s rapacious development agendas can ensure that wilderness habitat is not undervalued, squandered or turned over in a rush for development in many Asian countries, particularly tiger range states.
Responsible well-conceived tourism offers the opportunity to support poverty eradication, offers employment and small scale business enterprise opportunities beyond those of the extractive industries, unsustainable farming or marginal livestock livelihoods, most especially to those who are often the victims of conservation, and have the least opportunity to benefit from economic activity.
The Indian subcontinent has a rapidly increasing demand for wilderness and wildlife tourism as its biodiversity riches are realised and its economy and need for leisure time grows. This can provide the driver to effect an extraordinary new template for saving the remaining forests critical to the survival of Tigers and many of the other subcontinent’s precious and iconic species. Visitors themselves become a destination’s strongest advocates for protection, conservation and financial support, and ensure the next generations continue to cherish these wildernesses.
TOFTigers’ aim has always to be at the forefront of advocate, guiding and developing this vision and the skills, resources, planning and action needed to achieve it.
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To advance the welfare of wild animals threatened with extinction through the loss or degradation of their wild habitats, and to promote the protection, expansion and improvement of those habitats
By highlighting the ecosystem value of nature and wildlands to humanity, and encouraging enhanced and targeted investment, both public and private, to stimulate protection, conservation and rewilding.
By catalysing, supporting and helping initiatives that enhance wildlife conservation and community support, including nature conservancies, waste and water management, trade cooperatives, local employment, fair wages and local enterprises and services;
By advising, planning and training Governments, park authorities, NGO’s and tourism services in the integration of nature tourism with conservation efforts.
By advocating, planning and supporting better tourism practices in wilderness areas, that cater for all visitors, all ages and a range of interests.
By providing specific guidelines for wildlife tour operators, service and accommodation providers and visitors, and by the PUG accreditation programme of businesses which follow such guidelines;
By empowering local communities to become involved in livelihood options through wildlife tourism projects and by initiating low impact and sustainable development which helps conserve wildlife parks and benefits the communities through employment and business opportunities;
How you can play your part :
Click here if you are a nature traveller, who has been or is keen to go to see wildlife on the subcontinent
Click here if you are an International Tour Operator or Travel agent ( Goes to Engage your business)
Click here if you are a Destination Management company or Ground Agent ( Goes to Engage your business)
Click here if you are a wildlife lodge or resort near a wilderness area, or are planning to be an accommodation provider within the Indian subcontinent
FIVE YEAR MISSION 2016 to 2021
With the present Indian Government’s stated ambition to use tourism as one of its five economic drivers for development, job creation and poverty alleviation, so TOFTigers has also laid out a road map over the next five years, to ensure its focus and a sustainability format for the industry’s growth, particularly in forest areas, is laid out across the subcontinent.
To encourage greater public and private monetary investment in resources and skills alongside legal and novel ways to encourage investment in forest, wildlife and wildlands protection, conservation and rewilding.
To become India’s premier voice in advocating well-conceived and well managed responsible nature tourism as a critical and sustainable conservation tool, and to highlight and publicise those providers who commit to the TOFTigers codes of business practice and the PUG (kitemark) accreditation programme.
To make the PUG kitemark and internationally recognised symbol of sustainability and credibility amongst both tourism suppliers, International and domestic, as well as a visitor’s ‘buy with confidence’ kitemark to key wilderness destinations across the subcontinent.
Enhance training and capacity building of related Government authorities and NGO’s to understand and use tourism more effectively, plan for it better and to incorporate the performance indicators of tourism management into a field manager’s performance evaluation.
To work with, incentivise and encourage all wildlife tourism suppliers, operators and visitors to work to a code of conduct, behavioural code and minimum level accommodation providers’ operational practice when in wilderness areas, and to move recent Government guidelines for sustainable tourism (ISTC) from voluntary standards to mandatory commitments.
To advocate, plan and support closer cooperation and stakeholder opportunities for local communities and enterprises in the wildlife tourism equation across tiger range states, by and through our travel membership.
To grow TOFTigers membership both in India and abroad to enhance its role in advocacy, supply chain management and effective, sustainable and proactive changes in wildlife tourism activities.
To grow TOFTigers funding base to enhance the objectives, build capacity to cover more ground and have greater influence in nature tourism policy across India and other tiger range countries.