Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tiger Safari More Expensive

Though I am not citing a confirmed report, it is obvious that rates will go up.  I have heard from a hotelier in Bandhavgarh about increase in gate fee in all Central Indian Tiger Reserves. Since a long time the administration was intent on increasing gate fees and all related fee. How much increase is there is yet to be seen by the author.  

This is necessary as the cost have gone up as they are bound to. Even the jeep safari rates have gone up which is understood. The rates of petrol affect the transportation cost all over India hence the tiger reserve. 

Will this impact tourism in our tiger reserves?

Well yes and no!

The rich will continue to come here and enjoy their wildlife holidays in larger numbers. The tigers and their habitat receive tremendous publicity in wildlife magazines and TV. This diverts more and more people towards tiger tourism in India.

But the increasing cost of the tours will certainly affect middle class and those below. Major impact will be on the hotels and resorts since not all cater to the upscale tourists.  Most of the accommodation will be stressed out.

The negative aspect is that the nature should be witnessed by wide spectrum of the society. It is quite understood that visitors begin to understand nature from close and develop a more practical approach towards it and its conservation. A lot of Indian tourists who visit these preserves on budget are going to be deprived of this eye opening experience and miss out on this amazing inheritance.   This applies to budget travelers from foreign soils as well. The negative impact of increased safari cost will make tiger tourism appear to be a prerogative of the wealthy. This will certainly create antipathy toward these parks amongst the have not’s.    

For the school going children a park visit is a learning experience and is vital for them. These very kids will grow up with a positive attitude towards the environment and all other life forms.    

Some way has to be found out in order to invite less privileged people sans some privileges. Another answer is to open up more wildlife sanctuaries for tourism with proper infrastructure development. But are we very good with finding solutions to problems, take the case of tiger conservation in India.