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Nepal Mountain Focus

Single day entry permission in Park put nature guides, tourists in dismay

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In this file photo foreigner tourists seemed enjoying elephant riding. Source: rainbowsafariresort.com.
In this file photo, foreign tourists seem enjoying elephant riding inside Chitwan National Park, one of the oldest park of Nepal. Source: rainbowsafariresort.com.

KATHMANDU, Nepal–With the office of the Chitwan National Park’s decision for providing entry permission to tourists inside the Park for a single day at once, foreign tourists who opted to stay more days inside the park are forced to shortening their park activities, thanks to the decision of the park that prohibited the tourists to stay inside the park at their own wishes.

The park’s move coupled with increased entry fee and limited movements of foreigners have adversely striking the already ailing tourism business of the country, besides bemoaning the tourists guides who have earn their living through trekking occupation.

Chitwan is one of the major tourist hub cities of Nepal after Pokhara and large number of visitors pay visit daily to observe the wildlife and mind-blowing natural scenario there.

Nature guides are complaining that due to single day entry permission to tourists, a decision made by the park office, their income has dropped down significantly in the recent days.

Citing to manage and renovateone of the oldest park in the country, the park administration had hiked 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 after getting the nod from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Reserve (DNPWC) in Kathmandu.

Though more than one thousand nature guides have received license inside the park, roughly 200 are actively working since they could not sustain their livelihood with their occupation after the office’s decision to limit the tourists’ stay there.

Many of them have opted of other profession while a few nature guides are learnt to quit their occupation as they could not make required money to earn their livelihood though in the early days they used to make an average sum of Rs. 15,000 per month by guiding tourists in various activities around the park.

All the nature guides working inside the park are demanding that  tourists should be provided multiple days’ visa in National Park in different trekking routes across the country, adding that if their their call  to offer an entry permission for multiple days were fulfilled, it would benefit both to the tourists and the trekkers.

Hundreds of international tourists pay visit to the Park for refreshment and soft adventure  like jungle walk, canoeing, elephant ride, jeep drive, hill trek, tower night, and village tour among others.

Park source said domestic tourists are mainly concerned to elephant ride and canoeing while foreigners interested in jungle walk, jeep drive and bird watching activities.

The park has witnessed a sharp fall in tourists’ arrival in 2013 as compared to previous years, however, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the park has gone all time high, according to park source.

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