Chitwan park witnesses falling number of visitors

Himalayan news Service

Chitwan, January 23:

The Royal Chitwan National Park has seen a 15 per cent decline in the number of tourists visiting it during the first three months of the season as compared to the number for the same period last year.

Only 18,731 tourists visited the park during the period. Last year 21,942 tourists had visited it during the same period. Ranger Bishnu Thapaliya, said 480 tourists from SARRC countries, 2,798 from other countries and 1,102 domestic tourists visited the park last month. The figure is 30 per cent less than that of the same month last year.

In November/December (Mangsir), the park saw a decline of 18 per cent in the number of visitors in comparison to the same month last year. Only 6,889 tourists visited the park in Mangsir. A tourism entrepreneur, Sri Krishna Tripathi, said the number of visitors is on the fall. He said significant number of tourists visited the park in October but the number has been falling since then. Even in October, the number was less than that of the previous october’s number. The increasing violence in the country is the the main reason for the falling number of visitors. It has affected the tourism enterprises as well.

Ranjan Shrestha of Tharu Culture Centre said there are no signs of improvement in the tourist arrival as January is also ending.

Chief conservation officer of the park, Shiva Raj Bhatta, attributed the decline to Maoist violence. Tourists who use to plan short visit prefer to cancel Chitwan package due to frequent bandhs and strikes.