India’s Ministry of Tourism has announced plans to lift a ban on tour operators using satellite phones.
The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) had requested that the ban be lifted, to allow its members to use satellite phones for “tourism purposes” when travelling in remote areas.
As such, the Ministry confirmed that it has now finalised a scheme for the “procurement, registration and use of satellite phones by… tour operators”.
Previously, use of satellite phones was considered a security risk in some regions. But the Ministry admitted that lack of communications “has affected some adventure sports, like high altitude mountaineering, trekking etc”.
Many of India’s popular adventure tourist destinations also lie in remote mountainous regions which are also home to security threats, such as Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.