Bar on children & senior citizens impact visitor footfall in tiger reserves

Published on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Stakeholders anticipate lower footfalls even as wildlife tourism kick-starts from October 1st after experiencing a stop of more than six months owing to strict conditions by National Tiger Conservation Authority. In the first week of June 2020, after Unlock 1, NTCA had allowed tourism in tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. Now, it has issued an advisory with dos and don’ts, with restricted tourist number to four, minus the driver and the guide. Secondly, children below 10 years and adults above 65 years have not been allowed so far.


Interestingly, these two restrictions have cancelled several accommodation bookings with resort owners. The owners have asserted that in October, at least 40% tourists who have booked rooms for a safari in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve and even during Diwali vacation have called off their bookings as children were not allowed inside the reserve.


To quote Nikhil Abhyankar, resort owner, “Tourists from Hyderabad had booked 15 rooms at Taru Van at Kolara from October 8-11, but as children are not allowed, the party cancelled the booking. Similarly, tourism consultant Himanshu Bagde had booked 15 rooms from October 14 to 16, but the visitors cancelled bookings as grandparents were not allowed.” Other resort owners, whose bookings were cancelled, have expressed similar grievances.


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