Tourist arrivals at Shuklaphanta national park not encouraging

4th Nov, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

BHIMDATTANAGAR, Nov 03:The Shuklaphanta National Park in Kanchanpur which is home to swamp deer, one of the world's protected wildlife species, welcomed a limited number of tourists from home and abroad in the past four years.

As stated by park officiating chief conservation officer, Gopal Ghimire, a total of 10,445 people visited the park in this 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 in 55 square kilometers is part of the park established in 1976. Though the park covering an area of 305 square kilometers is rich in biological diversities and is habitat of several species of flora and fauna, expected number of tourists are not visiting it.

The park lies nearer from the Indian central capital New Delhi as well and is in the need of further publicity. Pokhara, Chitwan and other parts of neighbouring district Bardiya are the choices of tourists entering Nepal via Gaddachauki point. Padam Raj Bhatta, officiating chief of Immigration Office, Gaddachauki, Mahendranagar, also believes that the park needs further publicity so that it could see the arrival of a good number of tourists.
"Most of tourists from the third countries entering Nepal via Gaddachauki straightly go to either Pokhara or 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 the publicity of tourism sector here has been running without a chief for the past four years.
According to information given by the park, only 326 people visited it in the past three and half months of the current fiscal year. A total of 4,740 tourists had visited it last fiscal while this number of 2,640 and 1,920 in the previous two years. In the fiscal year 2071-72 BS (2014-15), it had welcomed only 824 visitors.

Local tourism entrepreneurs have felt the need of launching a publicity campaign targeting the park that serves as a gateway to the entire Sudurpaschim (Far-Western) province that comprises nine districts in the far-western Nepal including Kanchanpur when the government targets to bring about some two million tourists in the country by 2020 AD. Paramananda Bhandari is among those tourism entrepreneurs who see the need of coming up with a publicity campaign and other tourism packages targeting the park.