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Everything you need to know about India’s Travel and Tourism laws

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Everything you need to know about India’s Travel and Tourism laws


India is a storied, age-old country with a vibrant past, history, and traditions. It is not surprising that there are more visitors coming to India every day because the country’s aesthetic worth and scenic beauty have become a significant part of its identity.

Often, blissfully pleasant travel is accompanied with a lack of familiarity with local laws. On the other hand, the Indian judicial system is cumbersome and ineffective. It’s not worthwhile to interfere with what was supposed to be a leisurely and delightful journey. 

More on Travel Laws


India's Travel and Tourism laws

Travel and Tourism 

The travel and tourist industry includes a broad range of business activities, including travel, lodging, entertainment, food service, and retail sales. This well-established sector of the American economy contributes 2.9% of the nation’s GDP and directly employs 5.7 million people. Even though employment and real output in the travel and tourism sector have increased recently, they have not fully recovered from the recession of 2007–2009. In light of this, Congress will think about renewing or extending the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, which started a national advertising and marketing campaign to entice foreign visitors to visit the US. The international travel and tourism sector expanded to become a substantial source of income for many nations in the years following World War II. The WTTC estimates that more than 100 million jobs were directly supported by international travel and tourism in 2012, and that number is projected to increase to 125 million by 2023. There is a fierce international competition for tourism. The main tourist destinations in the globe in 1980 were Europe and North America, which accounted for more than 80% of the global market.

Numerous studies on the specific subject of tourist activities have been conducted over the past few decades, with a focus on the internal dynamics of tourism. Though it is still in its early stages, legal scientific research is being done on the nature of tourism control. The daily operations of their business as well as the legal aspects of hospitality and tourism management as a whole must be understood by managers of companies in the hospitality and tourism industries.

The Need of Tourism Laws

The main objective of tourism law, which is supported by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, is to establish a legal framework for the proper use, development, and management of tourist activities (UNWTO). Basically, the legislation’s presence will contribute to the protection of natural resources as well as the preservation of cultural traditions, among other social, political, and economic advantages. In addition, passengers and other parties involved may gain from fundamental legal protection through open procedures. Popular nations in the industry are currently fighting to monitor and put into place realistic laws to preserve tourism activities and secure benefits obtained from them. Tourism law is a distinct area of law that combines fundamental legal principles with regulations specific to the tourism and hospitality sectors.

According to American legal policy, the purpose of travel laws is to offer a framework for the proper development and management of tourist activities. State, federal, and international laws are blended together to create the tourist laws that control various aspects and activities of the industry. For instance, travel legislation may cover anything from employment to community health standards for the hospitality industry. The main objective of tourism legislation is to provide a fair and equitable environment for tourists and travel agencies. For instance, when it comes to the goods and services offered, as well as situations where regulations are in place to ensure restaurants serve safe food and have safe premises, tourist legislation is put into action.

Travel and Tourism laws

The Travel Law 

While international law of travel refers to the rules, procedures, agreements, and treaties that regulate international travel, the law of travel or travel law refers to the regulations that govern both corporate and individual behavior in the travel sector. Since it may be necessary to file a claim in a foreign country, travel law is a rather specialized area of law that may be particularly fascinating. It deals with a variety of issues, including international accident lawsuits, contractual recovery procedures against foreign suppliers, package travel rules, and compliance with international and national legislation. The goal, according to the online Lawrina.com website, is to advance legal doctrines including public law, tort law, trust law, employment law, and contract law while also directing international travel law. International travel law offers a complete set of regulations for the travel sector by including contract law, employment law, tourist and hospitality standards, antitrust limits, regulatory and agency compliance, and understanding of specific international accords and treaties.

Tourism Laws in India 

Fortunately, whether you are a foreign visitor or just passing through, Indian law is clear on the bulk of tourist rules. They are all the same, including:

In India, women have the option to decline being driven to the police station by a male officer. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, they might also refuse to go to the police station between the hours of 6 and 6 o’clock (CrPC). It is not necessary to personally visit the police station in order to make a complaint. She may easily submit a complaint by mail or e-mail after finding the address of the neighborhood police station online. Women can also email the National Commission of Women at [email protected] with their complaints.

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) offers a lot of room for interpretation when it comes to the rules regarding open displays of affection. Even holding hands in public is frowned upon in other places, where it is acceptable to embrace or make out. Examining the environment is a smart move before starting any such endeavor.

According to Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code, a “public nuisance” is any unlawful act that results in a common damage, danger, or annoyance to the public or to individuals in general. According to this definition, loud music and noises, public drunkenness, property damage, and nudity are all examples of “public nuisances.”

Despite how alluring it may appear, it is illegal to photograph or video a number of tourist attractions, temples, government areas, and the like. Put your binoculars away in crowded areas like railway stations and airports. 

Various states in India have different laws regarding the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol may not be consumed on days that have political or religious importance or in the run-up to an election.

Alcohol is not allowed in several states, like Gujarat and Bihar, during the entire year. A permission may be necessary for this. Transporting alcohol across states is usually forbidden as a result of the variations in state alcohol laws. The use of drugs is officially forbidden across the nation, and those who do so risk fines or jail terms of six months to 10 years.

Any antiques that are bought or moved between places need to be registered with the local police and come with a picture.

There are typically three rules that must be observed when foreigners visit India: The Foreigners Registration Act of 1939 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920 Moreover, the 1946 Foreigners Act.

While mastery of these actions is not necessary, some formalities must be observed:

Every foreigner must register at the Foreigner Regional Registration Office after 14 days, unless his visa stipulates otherwise (or 24 hours in the case of a tourist from Pakistan). This is possible right there in the airport. Less than 180 day stays by foreign tourists are exempt from registration.

According to Section 14 of the Registration of Foreigners Act, a foreign person must identify himself or herself, state their nationality, provide their identification papers, such as passports and ID cards, and sign a form at the hotel or guesthouse where they are staying. Within 24 hours of the aforementioned arrival, the hotel or guest home administration must contact the police.

In order to stay at a hotel, visa holders must also retain copies of Forms C and F from the Registration of Foreigners Act. These may be downloaded from the internet or obtained from the Foreigners Registration Office.

Foreign nationalists must acquire a permit from the appropriate government in order to access areas that have been classified as protected or restricted. A convincing reason for needing to visit the designated areas must be submitted with the request for such authorization, which must be filed at least eight weeks in advance.

Foreign visitors are required to keep their passports on them at all times. They must have an international driver’s license if they decide to drive while travelling, as well as a two-wheeler license and a Helmet. 

Foreign nationalists must be at a specified location, like Goa’s Nude Beach, to engage in public nudity.

For any cash, banknotes, or traveler’s checks worth more than $1,000 USD or its equivalent, the Currency Declaration Form must be completed. This currency may only be converted into Indian rupees at banks and other authorized money exchangers.

There are two check-in desks at the airport where travelers may check in. The Green Channel is open to those without dutiable articles or unaccompanied luggage, whereas the Red Channel is required for everyone else. If a passenger is found in the Green Channel with dutiable or prohibited items, he may be fined or prosecuted in addition to having the goods seized.

Visitors from nations with an active case of yellow fever must possess a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate that complies with international health standards before entering the nation.

Although these regulations were put in place to provide visitors a perfect experience, I think the government and the relevant authorities should do more. Because not all tourists are completely aware of their rights and obligations, there should be a tourist hotline number.

The government should discourage tourist organizations that are not recognized by the government to prevent them from defrauding naïve visitors.

Along with offering a stress-free vacation, these actions and others will also actively encourage travel to the nation.


Rules and regulations are closely related to both tourism and hospitality. It contributes to ensuring a decent and equal workplace for both industry workers and tourists. Because business owners must understand it as well in order to avoid a lawsuit or penalties.

Contributed by Sanal Pillai

Edited by Imtiaz Ullah

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