Entry fee to be increased | Sunday Observer

Entry fee to be increased

Plans are afoot to increase tourism revenue generated by national parks, on several fronts, said Secretary to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Douglas Nanayakkara.

“We have prepared a strategic management plan with special consideration for park management. There are also plans to develop the infrastructure of the parks to attract more tourists,” Nanayakkara told the Sunday Observer.

Sanitary facilities within parks will be improved, circuit bungalows will be renovated and drinkable water sources will be provided.

“There are also plans to build new bungalows in certain areas, depending on demand. This will be done without disturbing the wild life in the area,” he said.

Nanayakkara said that the per head entry rate to the wildlife parks is also to be increased by approximately 10 to 25 percent.

He said there are proposals to implement a technical system to book entrance tickets and bungalows, as a measure to curb alleged malpractices in booking bungalows.

At the same time, there are plans to strengthen. The boundary lines of the national parks will be strengthened and inter ministerial task force and security forces will be deployed to minimize wildlife crimes and to set up divisional level committees to protect jungles. “A maximum of 10 members will be allocated per Divisional Secretariat, near the boundaries. They will be responsible for the protection of electric fences,” he said.

Last year, the total revenue generated by national parks via tourism was Rs. 2.04 billion and there were 1,635,467 visiters, as per Department of Wildlife Conservation data. Of this, Yala National Park recorded the highest revenue of Rs. 700.58 million.