Local tourists at national parks on the rise | Daily News

Local tourists at national parks on the rise

Filling an artificial water pool at Wilpattu National Park.
Filling an artificial water pool at Wilpattu National Park.

Local tourist visits to national parks is on the increase, Wildlife Conservation Department Director General M.G.C. Sooriyabandara yesterday said.

Sooriyabandara said that immediately after the Easter Sunday terror attacks, the bungalow bookings were cancelled and visits of both local and foreign tourists took a sharp fall.

“However, by now, there are a considerable number of local tourists visiting national parks. Since this is the off-season for foreign tourists, we don’t get many foreigners.

But by the time the next tourist season start, we are confident that we would be able to see a significant increase in foreign tourists as well. After any crisis, natural or otherwise, wildlife tourism gets affected. It was like that when the tsunami hit the country. But then the condition improved. We are hopeful that things would get back to normal soon,” Sooriyabandara explained. Meanwhile, DWC DG Sooriyabandara also said the Wildlife Conservation Department has taken steps to create artificial water sources for animals in Yala and Wilpattu National Parks considering the severe drought in those areas.

“Unless there a severe drought affecting the whole of a park, we do not artificially provide water to animals. It is the last resort we turn to in habitat management. We do this only at the two main national parks. Especially because these animals are in tourism zones and are under stressful conditions, due to human contact. We do this every dry season as well,” Sooriyabandara also said. 


 

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