Andaman Islands set for eco-tourism development
by Sophia Heath
An increasing number of superyachts may visit the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal, as six islands are set to be developed for eco-tourism.
The group of more than 550 islands in the Indian Ocean have remained relatively undiscovered by tourists despite their crystal waters and beautiful beaches. However, a movement by the Indian government to increase tourism could see major development in the archipelago.
As part of a government plan to open up 1000 new Indian destinations the Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands announced in January that the department of Environment and Forests was looking to identify islands where eco tourism activities could be created.
The group has now selected six island and it has been reported that if the Indian government approves the plans then development could start in a matter of months.
The news has been welcomed by the superyacht industry in the area
“There’s growing interests from visiting superyachts in the Andaman Islands and recent news of eco-tourism activities opening in six Andaman Islands is another positive move,” said R. Rathnam of Asia Pacific Superyachts.
Environmentally friendly yachting is becoming increasingly popular with a number of eco-trensetter superyachts now available.
Due to their proximity to Phuket the islands can be explored as part of a superyacht charter in Thailand. Thailand's Prime Minister wants to make Phuket a superyacht hub in the region and new superyacht charter licenses in Thailand are expected imminently.
There have been some concerns raised about the treatment of local tribes as tourism develops in the Andaman Islands. British charity Survival International argues that the Jawa tribe are being used for “human safaris” and has created a petition to boycott tourism to the Andaman Islands until this is stopped.