Shuklaphanta National Park sees few visitors

Bhimdattanagar, November 3

The Shuklaphanta National Park, which is home to swamp deer, which is one of the protected wildlife species, welcomed few tourists from home and abroad in the past four years. As stated by officiating chief conservation officer at the park Gopal Ghimire, only 10,445 people visited the park during this period.

The park is home to over 2,300 swamp deer. Besides, the country’s largest open grassland spreading over 55 square kilometres is part of the park established in 1976. The park covers an area of 305 square kilometres.

Tourists entering Nepal via Gaddachauki point prefer to visit Pokhara, Chitwan and other parts of neighbouring districts, including Bardiya, instead. Padam Raj Bhatta, officiating chief at Immigration Office, Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar, also believes that the park needs further publicity so that it could see a surge in tourist arrivals.

“A majority of tourists from third countries entering Nepal via Gaddachauki straightly go to either Pokhara, Chitwan or Kathmandu,” he said, adding that, other tourist destinations in the far-western Nepal also needed publicity and promotion.

The Nepal Tourism Board’s office set up at Gaddachauki for tourism promotion has been running without a chief for the past four years.

Only 326 people visited the park in the first three-and-half months of the current fiscal year.

A total of 4,740 tourists had visited the park last fiscal, while 2,640 and 1,920 visited it in the previous two years.

Local tourism entrepreneurs stressed the need to launch publicity campaign to attract more tourists to the park that serves as a gateway to the entire Sudurpaschim province.