Kaziranga opens its gate for tourists

Bitupan Borah

Kaziranga, October 12: The Kaziranga National Park (KNP) – UNESCO World Heritage Site – on Friday opened its gates for tourists for the tourism season 2018-19.

Assam’s Minister of Forest and Environment Minister, Parimal Suklabaidya ceremonially declared the Park open for tourists in presence of State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, State Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta and Assam tourism Development Corporation chairman Jayanta Malla Baruah.

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As per reports, due to erratic weather conditions, the tourists can presently enjoy only the jeep safaris. The Jeep Safari in the Central Range, Kohora and Western Range, Bagori will be operational for only about 8 kms and 6.5 kms respectively. The date for the elephant rides will be announced soon.

“We must all work together to keep the park thriving,” said Suklabaidya. “The flow of domestic and foreign tourists has increased and the tourist lodges are booked,” said Baruah.

“We are 12 in the group. This is our first visit to the park. We are excited to explore the park and to spot the one-horned rhinos,” said a tourist.

As per data provided by State Tourism Minister Chandan Brahma in the recently concluded Assam Assembly, the percentage of domestic tourists have increased by 3.9 per cent and that of foreign tourists have increased by 11.7 per cent after Priyanka  Chopra was hired as the Assam Tourism Brand Ambassador.

The number of domestic tourists were 57,13,156 and 59,34,791 in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively and the number of foreign tourists were 28,419 and 31,739 in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively.

Brahma mentioned that the Assam tourism department has earned the highest amount of revenue i.e. Rs 2,09,56,919 in 2017-18 as compared to the last four years.

The amount of revenue earned in 2016-17 was Rs 1, 64,888, 41 as compared to 2015-16, which amounted to only Rs 85,48,212. The total amount of revenue received from January-August, 2018 is Rs 61,53,411.