Assam's Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), India's seventh Unesco world heritage site, received a tourist footfall of a little over 2.75 lakh -- over 64 per cent more than previous year -- generating a revenue of Rs 6 crore during 2021-2022, an all-time record collection.
The revenue collection in 2021-2022 is almost doubled from the previous year's (2020-2021) Rs 3.60 crore. KNPTR Director Jatin Sharma on Wednesday said that altogether 2,75,835 tourists including 1,719 foreign tourists visited the world heritage park during the period of October last year to May this year, setting an all-time record.
Altogether, 2,74,116 domestic tourists visited the park, home to more than 2,600 one-horned Indian rhinos.
October to May is the main tourist season in the KNPTR, a most favourite destination for both foreign and domestic tourists.
Sharma, a senior IFS officer, said that setting an all time record, Rs 6,39,23,389 was collected as revenue in 2021-2022 from the tourists.
In 2020-2021, despite Covid-19 pandemic, in all 1,67,644 tourists visited the park with total revenue garnered being Rs 3,60,00,611. According to the KNPTR director, in 2019-2020, a total of 1,42,859 tourists visited the park, generating a revenue of Rs 4,20,63,541.
The tourist flow to the park was affected during the period 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic, he stated. Sharma said that for the development of the KNPTR and protection of animals, the Assam Forest and Wildlife Department has taken a series of steps to curb poaching and other menace.
The park has a total of 144 man-made scientifically designed highlands, including 33 big ones, for housing animals during floods, he added.
The KNPTR, which is spread across five districts of Assam -- Golaghat, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Karbi Anglong, is not just a home of one-horned rhinos, this is also home to Royal Bengal tigers, Asian elephants, wild buffalos and many more animal species while it is also habitat to thousands of birds of over 125 species.