A hotel in Sauraha. (File photo)
CHITWAN: The number of tourists coming to Chitwan has recorded a fifty percent decrease in the recent past financial year.
Majority of the tourists coming to Chitwan National Park go on a jungle safari and the data on the same shows a significant decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last fiscal year 2077/78, 92,209 tourists went for a jungle safari in the park, which was 182,435 in the previous fiscal year 2077/76.
The number of domestic tourists visiting the park however saw only a minor decline, with 89,441 visiting the park in the outgoing fiscal year. The number was 89,601 in FY 2076/77.
The record of foreign tourists visiting the park was only 1,244 excluding SAARC countries. From the SAARC member states, 1,364 people came to Chitwan park in FY 2077/78. The number was 14,239 from SAARC countries and 78,755 from other countries.
Corona Virus pandemic was the major reason for the decline in the number of tourist arrival, said Chief Projection Officer of the Park Ananath Baral.
Meanwhile, the park has also suffered a significant loss in yearly income due to low tourist arrival. The park collected Rs. 25.5 million in tourist fees in FY 2077/78, which was Rs. 187.3 million in the previous fiscal year.
President of Regional Hotel Association, Chitwan, Dipak Bhattarai said that the tourism sector of Chitwan continues to be hit by several incidents in recent past years.
After the earthquake, economic blockade by India, and obstruction in Narayangadh-Mugling road, COVID-19 has further deteriorated the state of the tourism sector.