Kathmandu –A total of 699,552 tourists visited national parks and conservation areas of the country in the last fiscal year 2017/18.
Of them, 325,856 were foreign tourists while the remaining were domestic one, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
Information Officer at the Department, Narayan Rupakheti, said that Rs 646.472 million of revenue was collected from tourists from their visit to conservation areas during the period.
The Department collects revenue on different heading including entry fee from tourists and production of documentary at conservation areas.
A total of 604,091 domestic and foreign tourists visited national parks and conservation areas in the fiscal year 2016/17 and Rs 552.736 million of revenue was collected from this.
Nepal is a leading country in terms of protection of genetic resources and biodiversity as per the ecosystems. Out of the total land area of the country, 23.39 per cent has been managed as national parks, wildlife reserve, hunting reserve, buffer zone and protected areas as per the concept of protected zone.
There are 12 national parks including Chitwan, Bardiya, Sagarmatha, Rara, Shey-Phoksundo, Langtang, Makalu Barun, Khaptad, Shivapuri Nagarjun, Vanke, Shuklaphanta and Parsa. The Koshi Tappu Wildlife reserve is the only wildlife reserve. There is one hunting reserve in Dhorpatan while six protected areas including Annapurna, Manaslu, Kanchanjunga, Apinampa, Gaurishankar and Krishnasar.
These are important areas in terms of tourism promotion. Sixty per cent of all foreign tourists coming to visit Nepal are said to visit these areas, according to the Ministry of Forests and Environment.
Ministry spokesman Dhananjaya Poudel said that the ministry has forwarded policy and plan to promote tourism in these areas by maintaining the environmental balance.