Survival International and SEARCH, a local organization had started a campaign on 22nd June 2011 calling tourists worldwide to boycott the most controversial Andaman Trunk Road that cuts right through the home of the endangered Jarawa tribe of Andaman Island. The campaign was well received by the tourists across the globe and also travel agencies who used to conduct Jarawa tours in the Islands. Learning about the seriousness of the campaign, the President of Andaman Tour Operators Association had rendered all support to the campaign to end tourism in the name of Jarawa.
In a recent development today, ‘Andaman Holidays’, one of the leading tour operators in the islands today called up SEARCH and expressed its willingness to join the campaign. Shri R. Ratnam, Managing Director of Andaman Holidays today met the Director of SEARCH and said that he has been deeply moved after realizing the seriousness of the campaign to protect and preserve the Jarawa tribe.
“We have been receiving several enquiries on Jarawa tours and same day return trips from Baratang. But we have started refusing our customers to go ahead with it. While asking for a reason, we direct them to a link of Survival International’s website, which calls tourists to boycott the Andaman Trunk Road”, Rathnam said.
“Since last week we received 6 enquiries and 5 of them returned to us saying they would not travel on the ATR if it is dangerous for the Jarawa tribe”, he added.
‘Andaman Holidays’ handles about 1500 Indian tourists and 300 Foreign tourists annually. The tour company has been catering to high end tourists like Sir Ian Botham, former captain of England Cricket Team who had visited the islands. Apart from them the tour operator company caters to business firms and associations including National Thermal Power Corporation, Power Finance Corporation, Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry Association, Airports Authority of India among others.