Shuklaphanta park deer fail to pull hordes of visitors

- RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI, Bhimdattanagar

Nov 4, 2018-

The number of visitors to the Shuklaphanta National Park (SNP) in Kanchanpur that is home to swamp deer, one of the world’s protected wildlife species, is picking up gradually in the past four years.

According to park’s officiating Chief Conservation Officer Gopal Ghimire, a total of 10,445 people visited the park in the period. The park is home to over 2,300 swamp deer, one of the protected species under the Cites. Besides, the country’s largest open grassland spreading over 55 square kilometres is part of the park established in 1976. But the park, covering an area of 305 square kilometres is rich in biological diversities and is habitat of several species of flora and fauna, has failed to attract as much visitors.

The park, which lies closer to the Indian capital New Delhi, is in need of further publicity. Pokhara, Chitwan and other places in neighbouring district Bardiya are among destination choice of tourists entering Nepal via Gaddachauki point.

Padam Raj Bhatta, officiating chief of Immigration Office, Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar, also believes the

park needs further publicity to draw more tourists.

“Most of the third country tourists entering Nepal via Gaddachauki go straight to either Pokhara, Chitwan or Kathmandu,” he said, adding that other tourist destinations in the far-western Nepal also need more publicity and promotion.

The Nepal Tourism Board’s office set up at Gaddachauki for tourism promotion in the area has been without a chief for the past four years. According to the SNP, only 326 people visited the park in the past three and a half months this fiscal. A total of 4,740 tourists visited the park last year, while 2,640 and 1,920 respectively in the previous two years. The park welcomed 824 visitors in 2014-15.

Paramananda Bhandari, a local tourism entrepreneur, feels the need of launching a publicity campaign targeting the park that serves as a gateway to the entire Sudurpaschim Province that comprises nine districts in the country’s farwest, including Kanchanpur. The government has set a target of bring in around two million tourists in the country by 2020.

Published: 04-11-2018 07:02

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