Thursday, June 23, 2011
Gir witnesses increase of 1 lakh tourists, Rs 1 cr income in a year.
Junagadh, 19 June, 2011
Amitabh Bachchan’s hugely publicized ads for Gujarat have been beneficial to the state in many ways, from which Gir seems to be benefiting the most. Gir has witnessed a huge increase in number of travelers in recent months.
According to the figures between June 2009 to May 2010 Gir National Park and Gir interpretation center of Devaliya both were visited by 5166 foreign tourists and 200800 Indian tourists; which is a total of 205966 tourists. From which the Gir interpretation center had 213 foreign and 134005 domestic tourists while the Gir sanctuary had 4953 foreign and 66795 domestic tourists.
But this year the number has increased by 98,861 tourists. According to forest department officials in Sasan Gir; 239 foreign tourists and 1,70,350 domestic tourists, totally 1,70,589 tourists have visited Gir interpretation centre and 6061 foreign tourists and 1,28,177 domestic tourists, totally 1,34,238 tourists had visited Gir sanctuary between June 2010 and May 2011.
Last year Gir Interpretation center made an income of Rs 1,20,46,155; whereas Gir sanctuary made Rs 87,20,000. In total the forest department made an income of Rs 2,16,66,840. While this year with 98,861 more tourists, Gir sanctuary has made Rs 1,66,49,950; whereas Gir Sanctuary made Rs 1,56,91,726. In total the forest department made an income of Rs 3,23,41,676 which is Rs 1,06,74,836 more than previous year.
Apart from that the hotels and other hospitality resources near the National Park are benefiting from the increase in the number of tourists. Take an example of local car operators. While one Gipsy car driver was getting 70-80 tourist trips of Gir sanctuary in 2009-10, in year 2010-11 the same driver got 120-150 trips.
But the real hospitality the tourists will never forget is the one offered by the small farm owners in the villages nearby, the tourists feasted on delicious Kathiyawadi food like Bajra No Rotlo, Kadhi, Khichdi and Olo.
The Lion King has not only blessed the forest department but also the small scale cottage industry and numerous individuals who depend on them.