Mumbai: Footfalls double, keep zoo cash registers ringing merrily

New arrivals like penguins, hyena, Bengal tigers attract visitors.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Friday, September 02, 2022, 10:53 PM IST
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Mumbai: Footfalls double, keep zoo cash registers ringing merrily | File

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visitors to Byculla's Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan has doubled. The increasing number of footfall has added nearly 64% to its revenue. The zoo has recorded 17.22 lakhs of visitors in the last 10 months (November 2021 to August 2022), which earned a revenue of more than Rs. 6 crores.

The zoo reported 10.66 million visitors from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020. The revenue earned during the pre-Covid era was around Rs. 4.5–5 crores annually. However, since the pandemic broke out in March 2020, the zoo has been closed to visitors. The gates were finally opened in November 2021. Since then, the number of footfalls has steadily increased, with the highest at 30,379 recorded in May.

After the arrival of penguins, between April 2017 and March 2020, the zoo earned a total of Rs. 14.23 crore and saw a total footfall of 40,94,366. After the pandemic from November to August, the zoo recorded 17 million and 22 thousand visitors. " We have had many new arrivals in the zoo in the last two years. The biggest attractions have been the leopards, Bengal tigers, hyenas and varieties of birds. "This must have increased the number of visitors," said Dr Sanjay Tripathy, Director of the zoo.

The zoo earns money by charging visitors entry fees, which are set at Rs. 25 for children, Rs. 50 for adults, and Rs. 100 for a family of four.Before the arrival of the penguins, the entry fee was Rs. Popularly known as Rani Baug, the average weekday footfall at the zoo ranges from 3,000-4,000, while it swells to 12,000-15,000 on weekends. During the summer vacation, the average footfall on weekdays went up to 12,000, while on weekends it reached 26,000–28,000.

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