The Himalayan Times, 29 Jan 2018
Though the arrival of tourists in Nepal has increased by around 30 per cent in the past six months of the current fiscal, compared to the last fiscal, there has been only three per cent increment in arrival of tourists in Chitwan.
According to Chitwan National Park’s Assistant Conservation Officer Nurendra Aryal, a total of 3,318 more tourists arrived at the national park in the first six months of the current fiscal compared to the same period last year.
A total of 67,123 tourists, including 7,044 from SAARC countries, 46,789 from other countries and 13,290 Nepalis visited the national park in the first six months of this fiscal while a total of 63,805 tourists visited the national park during the same period last year.
As per statistics, a total of 139,125 tourists, both domestic and international, arrived at the park last fiscal. It is estimated that a total of 150,000 tourists arrived at CNP this fiscal. Likewise, a total of 87,391 tourists had visited the national park in 2015-16. The number of tourists arriving in the district dropped due to the devastating earthquake and the border blockade. A total of 184,000 tourists had visited the national park in 2014.
Aryal said the national park didn’t witness as many tourists as expected this fiscal due to floods last year.
Similarly, the under-construction Muglin-Narayangadh road section has also been blamed for the fall in the number of tourists visiting the district.
However, no exact data on the number of tourists entering the district is available. There could be a significant number of tourists entering Chitwan who return without visiting the national park.