Single day entry permission to tourists in Chitwan National Park is limiting the tourist stay in Chitwan and adversely affecting the tourism income.
As National park is providing entry permission to tourists inside the National Park for a single day at once, tourists who want to stay more days inside the park are shortening their park activities, said Laxman Raut, a nature guide in Sauraha.
The increased park fee and single day permission system has adversely affecting the length of tourist stay in Sauraha, he said.
The park administration has increased the park fee per tourists of third country to Rs. 1500 from Rs. 500, those from SAARC countries to Rs. 750 from Rs. 200 and nationals to Rs. 100 from Rs. 20 around one and half year ago.
Sauraha is one of the main tourist destinations of Nepal after Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Another nature guide Tulasi Raj said that their income has been reduced significantly due to the increased park fee.
There are around 1000 nature guides taking license in the National Park out of which only around 200 are actively working as tourist guides.
Some of the tourist guides are operating their own business independently while some are working as employee in different hotels of Sauraha.
They used to earn on an average Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 per month by guiding tourists in various activities inside and around the National Park.
Tourists should be provided multiple days’ visa in National Park as in different trekking routes of the country, he demanded.
If the park administration gives the entry permission for multiple days, tourists would stay longer in Sauraha and it will increase our income and overall spending of tourist, he said.
As tourists feel uneasy to take park permission times and again for the same activity, they used to shorten their stay in Sauraha, he added.
Thousands of domestic and international tourists use to visit Chitwan National Park for recreation and soft adventure activities.
Main tourism activities offered to tourists in Sauraha are jungle walk, canoeing, elephant ride, bird watching, elephant bath, jeep drive, night walk, hill trek, tower night, village tour etc.
According to Raut, domestic tourists are mainly interested in elephant ride and canoeing while foreigners mainly interested to jungle walk, jeep drive and bird watching activities.
He informed that number of tourist arrivals have been decreased this year as compare to previous years. Specially, numbers of domestic and Indian tourists have been decreased this year, he added.
Number of Chinese tourists visiting National Park is increased in recent years, he stated.
source: gorkhapatraonline.com, 15 Jan 2014