Like the two phases of a coin, wildlife tourism is also bejeweled with two perceptions. In one opinion, wildlife must be set apart from tourism so as to protect endangered species. On the other hand, a different school of thought promotes wildlife tourism as a means of conservation. Indian wildlife tourism supports the second set of opinions.
With 99 national parks and 400 plus wildlife sanctuaries, India is home to various exotic fauna and flora species. One of the recent ongoing buzz around the town is the upward graph of Indian wildlife tours. Earlier wildlife tourism brought new challenges for governmental bodies, but in the present time, this rise is indeed supporting the conservation initiatives taken for the welfare of flora and fauna.
Factors behind increased wildlife tourism in India
There is a reason behind everything, and the rise of Indian wildlife tours is no exception. Though there are several factors behind the mounting rate of wildlife tours, mentioned below are the top two reasons:
Presence of rare fauna species
Various endangered and on the brink of extinction wildlife species inhabit Indian national parks, sanctuaries, and reserves. These rare species form major tourist attractions during wildlife expeditions. The top species that work as the crowd puller are stated below:
People love spending wildlife holidays in India because they can’t afford to miss the glimpse of the most furious predator – tigers. Project Tiger 1973 was started at the Jim Corbett National Park (the oldest established national park of India), covering 9 tiger reserves.
Presently around 43 tiger reserves fall under the respective project. Amidst all the reserves, The Sunderban National Park is acknowledged for forming the largest tiger reserve in India. Coming to One Horned Rhinoceros, then Kaziranga National Park, Assam is known for inhabiting the world’s largest populace of this endangered species. Further, the Gir National Park is the only dwelling place of Asiatic Lions.
Beautiful Collection of Floral Species
The astounding beauty of Indian wildlife sanctuaries and parks is another reason behind rising tourism. Their lush green forests not only offer a shed to the wild species but also attracts tourists from different nooks and corners of the globe.
It is the Sunderbans National Park and the Valley of Flowers National Park that are regarded as the paradise for botany lovers. Both of these national parks are renowned World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
On one hand, where the Sunderbans National Park is recognized for having one of the largest Mangrove forests; on the other, the Valley of Flowers is known for owing meadows of endemic alpine flowers. Further, there are various other sanctuaries that are acknowledged for showcasing the plethora of natural beauty.
Tourism aiding conservation
An India wildlife tour ultimately helps the respective authorities for further conservation initiatives. The fare collected via wildlife tourism is used for the maintenance of national parks and sanctuaries.
In a study conducted in the year 2012 at three prominent national parks – Nagarahole, Kanha and Ranthambore, the facts revealed that tourist spends around $600 on their visit. The study also showed that tourists are willing to re-visits and are even ready to pay higher entry fares as they simply love the tour.
The funds thus collected are then utilized for the welfare of the wildlife dwelling in different parks and sanctuaries. In addition to the financial help, wildlife tourism also promotes awareness about fauna and flora species. These tours bring people closer to nature and make them understand the ecological importance of wildlife.
This makes it crystal clear that the increase in wildlife tourism is a positive step towards conservation. In fact, it would not be wrong to state that both wildlife tourism and conservation are interlinked. As tourism educates people about wildlife and its importance and thus is a part of conservation and on the other hand, conservation allows wildlife enthusiasts to explore their world of dreams.