TOFTigers estimated that a single tigers in Ranthambhore had generated a staggering amount of well over U$$100 million in revenue for the National park
In a bid to encourage responsible wildlife tourism, TOFTigers recently awarded those players who have actively been practicing sustainable tourism in New Delhi . The event was attended by Union Tourism Secretary and the Deputy Chief of Bodoland Territorial Council, among others.
“With the new Government’s focus on the tourism industry and the Ministry of Tourism’s recently released guidelines to sustainable tourism, it’s time to celebrate the best of the best in nature tourism in India today-Extraordinary individuals , companies, parks and organizations that are helping to keep our forests safe, and travelers to become nature’s greatest advocates. Nature tourism has come of age. It’s no longer a niche industry but a large and critical component for conservation funding and support, for poverty alleviation and of the ‘Tiger brand’ that is quintessentially India’ ” Julian Mattews , Chairman of sustainable tourism action charity, TOFTigers , said.
Today, well over 2.5 million visitors enter a tiger reserve each year, and spend well over Rs. 56 crores in park fees alone, with a possible 10-20 times multiplier spent on guiding, vehicles, services and accommodation outside the parks, creating tens of thousands of jobs , new livelihood and local enterprises where few opportunities used to exist . In 2010, TOFTigers estimated that a single tigers in Ranthambhore had generated well over U$$100 million in revenue for parks, communities and local enterprises over her 10 year reign in the territory.
“Living tigers are an extraordinarily good investment. Park fees from tourism in the well-known tiger reserve of Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh was Rs. 7 crores in 2013/14, and the funding from central government’s Project Tiger is only Rs. 2.4 crores this year, so visitors are paying over three times as much money to help protect the park and support communities,” Matthews added.
He said that there is a need of better Government planning and monitoring and far more of the dedication of individuals.
Amongst the winners were Orange County, Kabini and Kipling Camp, joint winners of the Most Inspirational Lodge of the year , both rated Outstanding by TOFTigers’ pioneering PUG eco-rating system ,which is modeled on the Global Sustainable tourism Council’s criteria, now being encouraged by the Ministry of Tourism. Pugdundee Safaris , also won Wildlife Promotion Operator of the Year and Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh , the Visitor Friendly Destination of the year award.
Source: T3 Magazine