A number of islands around the world will be open to tourists for the first time, according to The Ministry of Home Affairs in India.

Islands within the Andaman and Nicobar islands will be open for day visits, with 29 inhabited islands and 11 uninhabited islands on the list.

They are no longer under the Restricted Area Permit regime until the end of 2022.

The decision was taken to improve tourism and development in the area and welcome new visitors.

Many of the islands have not seen tourists in decades due to the restrictions.

Protection for the islands will be ensured, regarding the preservation of marine and natural resources.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are found in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of India and Asia.

There are approximately 300 islands in the region, with white sand beaches and palm trees enticing visitors.

Popular activities for tourists who can visit some of the islands include diving and snorkelling thanks to the rich marine life.

Indigenous Andaman Islanders are found on many of the islands which are off limits.

Some of the islands included in the new changes are:

  • East Island
  • North Andaman
  • Smith Island
  • Curfew Island
  • Stewart Island
  • Land Fall Island
  • Ayes Island
  • Middle Andaman
  • Long Island
  • Strait Island
  • North Passage
  • Baratang
  • South Andaman
  • Havelock
  • Neil Island
  • Flat Bay
  • North Sentinel Island
  • Little Andaman
  • Chowra
  • Tillang Chong Island
  • Teressa
  • Katchal
  • Nancowry
  • Kamorta
  • Pulomilo
  • Great Nicobar
  • Little Nicobar
  • Narcondam Island
  • Interview island

North Sentinel Island has seen no visitors since the late 1990s, due to being inhabited by an isolated tribe.

Called the Sentinelese tribe, it is estimated that as many as 400 individuals remain on the island and are untouched by modern civilisation, the last to remain.

They survived the Indian Ocean 2004 tsunami before helicopters roamed the area.

The helicopters were shot at by arrow and stones by the tribe members.

In 2006, two fishermen were killed after they drifted too close to shore.


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