KATHMANDU, Nepal–The number of tourists visiting the Chitwan National Park (CNP), the oldest park in the country reached a record high in Fiscal Year 2014/15.
National News Agency RSS, quoted Park official as saying that a total of 173,000 domestic and foreign tourists visited the Park during this period, the highest number of the tourists visiting the park so far.
According to Paudel, the number of foreign tourists visiting the Park is significantly high in compared to last year when the Park witnessed as many as 153,000 tourists.
The park is also a vital economic resource for locals: It garnered Rs 246.8 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2014/15 against Rs 211.5 million in the previous year.
CNP has fixed Rs 750 for tourists from SAARC countries, Rs 100 for domestic tourists and Rs 1,500 for tourists from other countries, as entry fee.
The vulture breeding center set up at the premise of the park is the major attraction for the visitors.
The center was established in the joint initiation of National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) in 2008.
Established in 1973 and spread in an area of 932 km2 (360 sq mi ), the park granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Located in the subtropical Inner Terai Lowlands of South-Central Nepal in the Chitwan district, the park houses, elephant, crocodile centers among other animals with rare species. It is also famous for one-horn rhino and tigers.
Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, the park Park has a particularly rich flora and fauna and is home to one of the last populations of single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros and is also one of the last refuges of the Bengal Tiger.
The Park has received an international award in recognition to its efforts for rhino conservation. The park had taken special measures to protect the one-horned rhino from poaching for the last few years.
The Park is a paradise for birds and birdwatchers alike. A census of the birds carried out recently showed that Chitwan is home to 14,078 birds in compared to the 10,032 recorded the previous year, according to Bird Education Society, Chitwan.
Tourist travelling Khumbu declines
In the meantime, the number of foreign tourists visiting the Khumbu area of Solukhumbu district has slightly gone down.
A total of 35,245 tourists visited the Khumbu area in the fiscal year 2070-71 BS while it was 36,650 in the fiscal year 2069-70 BS.
As per the statistics provide by the office of Sagarmath National Park (SNP), Namche, the highest number of tourists from the third world countries visiting the areas was from Australia during the period.