Ban on Indian tiger tours is lifted

The Supreme Court has lifted a ban on tourism in tiger reserves but asked local governments to regulate the number of visitors.

In July the court had ordered a complete ban while the government formulated new guidelines.

The ban was lifted late on Tuesday after the government announced new rules aimed at allowing tourism to co-exist with conservation.

Under these rules, no new tourist facilities can be created in the tiger areas and only 20 per cent of tiger habitats will be open to visitors.

India is home to more than half of the world's estimated 3,200 tigers, and most of them live in wildlife reserves that have been set up since the 1970s. Conservationists say tourism is having a damaging impact on tiger populations.

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