Safety and Security Measures

Recommendation to the Hon’ble Tourism Minister, Government of Kerala on the safety and security measures in Tourism

Safety and security are vital for providing quality in tourism. More than any other economic activity, the success or failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors.

It is undeniable that the tourism industry has a right to have legitimate expectation, the state will do all it can to ensure safety and security. Therefore in the industry’s own interest it should coordinate its efforts and cooperate fully with government, law enforcement agencies and the wider community. When the environment is safe the visitor is also safe, and only if the tourism industry emphasizes on security it can survive in the future.

  • Great importance has to be paid to the safety system and necessary protocol should be made compulsory by law, as part of the tourism infrastructure and facilities development at locations.
  • We need safety measures practiced at airports, air, rail and inland cruise terminals, roads to tourist locations, boating locations, wild life sanctuaries, adventure tourism locations, beaches, hotels, crowded shopping centers, etc. The safety measures should go parallel with the facility development.

1.Airports, Railway stations and Sea ports

Tourists arrive at these terminals and they are to a great extent prone to harassments and attacks by anti-socials, criminals, militant unions, and touts. We have not taken any measures so far to have a focus on these areas to watch and prevent harassments on the visiting tourists. Though, we have had many such incidents in the past.

Watchful tourist police and other law and order force supported by smart intelligence should be introduced with efficient communication systems.

2.Inland Cruise Terminals

We have tourist boat cruises introduced at the backwaters, rivers and canals and reservoirs at different locations in Kerala. These boats ply without a plan of operation or schedule, with tourists on-board. Even the minimum safety measures as seen internationally are not being provided at these locations.

The tourism industry has been raising this demand for introducing safety measures at the tourist locations for such a long time for no avail. Only when a tragedy has taken place recently, we are alerted.

Measures to be taken :

  • At all these cruise locations, the number of boats have to be limited considering the carrying capacity of the location.
  • The boats should be put to use only after all certifications. The periodical quality check for the boats by experts should be made compulsory.
  • The systems and procedures followed internationally should be studied by enforcing officials and introduced for tourist operations.
  • Life belts, life jackets, warning and alert signages, written instructions, oral instructions by crew and deployment of specially trained crew should be made mandatory.
  • The whole location should be well linked by excellent communication systems – connecting the boat landings, boat navigators and the connecting points.
  • Boat landing should be equipped with high speed boats, safety personnels, divers and tourist police.
  • Responsibilities of safety should be fixed on individuals in charge at different levels from decision makers down to the end worker.
  • There should be clear written instructions given at all levels for the operations.
  • The operating agencies should have a detailed operational procedure and protocol to be administered by the government.
  • Only trained and skill tested personnel should be allowed to handle tourists at risk-prone areas. The service providing staff at tourist centers should have Basic Life Support (BLS) training.
  • Boat landings should have emergency health support and medical centers, which can give even oxygen facilities.
  • At backwater regions for houseboats services proper boat landings should be provided at appropriate locations and it should be made mandatory that the boats are anchored at these locations in the evenings after cruises.
  • The landings should have facilities of speedboats, trained divers and security people lighting facilities, generators, PA systems and communication systems. Boat also should have communication systems.
  • The control room at the landing should be able to contact any boat if needed.
  • The Skill and experience of the staff on the houseboats should be tested before appointment. Their antecedence, health, history should also be examined. Their records should be ready with the employers, to be produced on demand and it should be made available to the police station.
  • Tourists police and safety guards should also be deployed at the boat landings.
  • Instructions should be properly displayed at the landings.

3.Surface Transport

The surface transport in Kerala is often found perilous and unsafe by the tourists due to the poor quality of roads and the unruly traffic. Tourists from countries with excellent traffic systems find our roads totally unsafe. Here we have to note that most of the accidents are involved by stage carriers, trucks, tippers, government vehicles, and careless private vehicles. Very seldom we find a real trained tour operation vehicle getting into such accidents. As a safety measure we should make roads to the tourist locations law abiding, streamlined, and secure.

Tourist police have to be deployed at strategic points on such roads for observation of the traffic.

4.Wild life sanctuaries

Trained trekking experts and forest personnel should be provided to assist trekking groups. Panel of trained trekking guides can be made available. Facilities to provide medical services also should be ensured.

5.Adventure tourism

Kerala is now preferred as an adventure tourism destination, for rock climbing, trekking and even gliding. But there is no necessary support services provided such as medical aid and other facilities at the identified locations. It should be made mandatory.


Tourist Beaches have to be equipped with beach guards and watch galleries.

7.Apart from the safety facility provided as part of safety and support facilities, we need to look at the security issues relating to the impact of terror, crime, epidemics management and crisis management. Major hotels have to have security measures. Measure are to be taken against crimes, drug trafficking, robbery and rape

8.The tourist locations should be equipped against epidemics such as SARS, Foot and Mouth disease, Swine flu and such others. Medical cells at arrival points, leaflets giving details of precautionary measures, do’s and dont’s.

9.The tourist locations should also have a well laid down crisis management protocol to address unexpected accidents or such incidents.

10.Tourists are the most affected group by the hartals declared by political parties. Necessary measures should be taken to protect them and give them facility for free movement.

– Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI)