Project information

Indigenous Peoples’ Code for Tour Operators

Indigenous Peoples’ Code of Conduct for Tour Operators. Indigenous people are often exposed to tourism with no preparedness or education on how to deal with the industry. Tour operators often include visits to indigenous groups considered to be exotic but have negative impacts on the communities.

June 2012 - December 2014

Charity information: Tourism Concern

Tourism Concern logo
  • Need


    In the Andaman islands semi-nude Jarawa women are being forced to dance for tourists in exchange for food – by the police, who instead of protecting them, encouraged behaviour after being bribed by the tour operators.Similar ‘human safaris’ are suspected of taking place in Peru. Here, tour operators are allegedly profiting from taking people to view uncontacted indigenous people, the Mashco-Piro, in Peru’s Amazon jungle.


    The Indigenous Peoples’ Code of Conduct will provide guidance on the following issues:
    The right for indigenous people to decide whether to engage in tourism activities
    Land rights - making profit of indigenous territories and cultures without “Free, Prior and Informed consent”
    Natural Resources, socio-cultural issues, economic benefits and the
    marginalisation and discrimination of indigenous women

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To develop a practical code of conduct for UK tour operators working with indigenous peoples.


    » Create a Core Working Group representing the NGO sector, the tourism industry, academics, and the indigenous peoples themselves.
    » Case studies will be collected and analysed to highlight the most pressing needs and issues, and serve as a basis for developing common solutions.
    » Develop the code and consult with the Wider Consulting Group of indigenous communities and organisations, international NGOs, Tour Operators.

    What success will look like

    The development of a Code of Conduct that tour operators are happy to adopt and that ensures that indigenous communities will benefit.

    Aim 2

    Raise awareness of the issues with tourists


    » Media (both new and print) campaigns, postcard distribution in appropriate press. On-line campaigns.

    What success will look like

    Tourists have a greater understanding of the issues and demand that their tour operators have adopted the code.

    Aim 3

    To lobby governments to uphold their commitments to the rights of indigenous peoples


    » On-line petitions, letter writing campaign and production of briefing for governments

    What success will look like

    Governments understand and enforce legislation to protect the rights of indigenous communities

    Aim 4

    Lobby Tour Operators to adopt the code


    » Hold round-table meeting with tour operators, encourage them to sign up to the code.

    What success will look like

    The majority of tour operators working with indigenous communities have adopted the code.

  • Impact


    Tourism Concern wants to make sure that indigenous communities will benefit from enhanced participation in the decision–making process including Free, Prior and Informed Consent, access to tourism generated revenues, better protected and respected rights, and increased awareness of indigenous rights issues worldwide.


    The main risk is to develop a code that protects indigenous communities, that is appropriate in various settings and has significant take up from the industry. The formation of a working group with all stakeholders represented should ensure that the code is developed to meet these aims.


    Reporting will be quarterly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £31,898

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,918 Researcher Research / facilitate meetings
      £7,080 Campaigns Executive Director costs
      £6,000 Print / Campaign Campaign / Publication printing
      £3,000 Events / Meetings Stakeholder meetings
      £2,900 Admin / Finance Administration / finance etc...
      £3,000 Dissemination Outreach and dissemination
  • Background


    UK - Worldwide


    150 million tribal people live in more than 60 countries across the world Although their land ownership rights are recognized in international law, they are not properly respected anywhere.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Indigenous People’s Code of Conduct will build upon Tourism Concern’s previous success with a code on porters’ rights. We are part of an expansive informal global network of NGOs and grassroots organisations challenging the unsustainable development of tourism, particularly in the developing world. We also have a history of a positive and constructive relationship with the tourism industry, which has involved the development of codes of best practice and training.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rachel Noble

    Head of Policy and Research - to coordinate the working group, undertake research and develop the code.

    Mark Watson

    Executive Director - campaigns, lobbying and liaison with tour industry.

Jarawa women being forced to dance for tourists

Jarawa women being forced to dance for tourists