Corbet National Park gets National Tourism Award
Hale and hearty tigers in diversity rich Corbet National Park, in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand, got National Tourism Award for being best tourist friendly national park in India 2007-08.delhi Updated: Feb 25, 2009 18:42 IST
Hale and hearty tigers in diversity rich Corbet National Park, in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand, got National Tourism Award for being best tourist friendly national park in India 2007-08.
The 2008 tiger census had recorded maximum increase in tiger population in Corbet earning a distinction of most populated tiger habitat in the world. The census had estimated the adult tiger population between 164 to 178. “The number would be much more now,” said Rajiv Bhattarai, former field director of Corbet, who was in Delhi to receive the award.
In 2007, the International Union for Conservation Network (IUCN) had rated the park as best tiger reserve in India based on over 25 parameters including health of the animal and the habitat.
Bhattarai, who received award from Home Minister P Chidambaram, said large-scale modern conservation techniques adopted with help of locals had helped in making the park a healthy breeding ground for tigers.
He had adopted four prolonged strategy to bring out a visible difference in the park. It was better protection for tigers, better management of resources, sustainable development of the habitat and community participation.
“We used to take villages in groups inside the park once every week to tell them that the tigers can help them to earn money through tourism,” he said.
It worked. In less than three years, the number of tourists visiting the park increased from 87,000 to 1.80 lakh with arrival of foreign tourists almost doubling. “An added attraction for foreign tourists for over 100 years old forest guest houses that were restored to its original design,” Bhattarai, 1986 batch Indian Forest Service Officer, who is now additional secretary Tourism with Uttrakhand government, said.
In Delhi, Tourism minister Ambika Soni awarded Qutub Minar as India’s most disabled friendly tourist place. While Trivandrum Golf Course got award for best Golf course in India, Cochin port was awarded most tourist friendly port in India. A large number of tour and tourism operators and hotel staff were also given tourism award for different sectors.