Madhya Pradesh: Cheetah Project Yet To Boost Tourism Sector

Madhya Pradesh: Cheetah Project Yet To Boost Tourism Sector

The number of tourists visiting Kuno is low compared to other National Parks or wildlife sanctuaries. As a result, no chain of hotels or resorts is visible, said a Kuno National Park official.

Rajan RaikwarUpdated: Thursday, April 25, 2024, 01:16 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Cheetah Project was launched with great fanfare and claims that it would take tourism industry to a new high. The authorities had said that project would pave way for opening of large number of hotels, resorts and allied businesses. But more than a year has passed, no much has been achieved.

The number of tourists visiting Kuno is low compared to other National Parks or wildlife sanctuaries. As a result, no chain of hotels or resorts is visible, said a Kuno National Park official. At present, only one hotel and a resort are functioning.

As there is less footfall, hotel industry doesn’t seem interested in Kuno. Most tourists are day visitors and avoid staying at night. When contacted, a Kuno resort owner Sudarshan Pathak said it would take time for tourism activities to pick up in Kuno. At present, there are only two cheetahs in open forest and their sighting is less.

If more cheetahs are released in forest, there sighting will be more, which in turn will draw more tourists. He said his resort received a few tourists. When Cheetah Project was implemented, the businessmen had purchased lands in Kuno at high prices. They had purchased plots and lands to open luxury hotels and resorts.

It was in September 2022 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had released eight Namibian cheetahs in Kuno. When contacted, Kuno National Park field director Uttam Kumar Sharma said in comparison to last five years, tourist footfall had increased in Kuno.

In last five years, about 7,000 tourists visited the Kuno and during the duration of a year (cheetah arrival period), 9,000 tourists visited Kuno. However, other national parks in state see large number of visitors every day. According to informal estimate, 1,000 tourists visit Kanha Tiger Reserve per day. About 30,000 tourists visit Kanha in a month. Same is the situation in other tiger reserves. In box Tourists in Kuno in 2023 October: 101 November: 116 December: 603

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