Tiger reserves vacationers’ hotspots

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Tiger reserves vacationers’ hotspots
21 Dec 2007, 0156 hrs IST,Vijay Pinjarkar,TNN
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NAGPUR: With Christmas vacation beginning Friday, tiger tourism has
topped vacationers’ list of hotspots. All the five tiger reserves, in
around 200-kilometre radius from the city, have been packed with
bookings and there’s literally no room left for any visitor.
Wildlife buffs are heading to tiger reserves and sanctuaries like
Tadoba-Andhari, Melghat, Pench (Maharashtra & Madhya Pradesh), Kanha,
Nagzira and Navegaon to spend holidays.
According to official sources, all the private and forest department
accommodation in these areas has been booked in advance. Top
officials say they even had to turn down requests from many families
as not a single residential booking is available now.
To start with high-profile Kanha, leading tour operator Arjun
Dhanwatey says, “There are over 35 private resorts around Kanha near
Mukhi and Khatia besides accommodation facility by Madhya Pradesh
Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC). However, all the dwellings
have been booked between Dec 22 and Jan 2. I am running with about 40
excess bookings.” He attributed the advance bookings to craze for
sighting tigers.
A section of government employees, who will be visiting to Kanha,
say, “It’s holidaying time for us. Except for Monday, there are four
holidays – Friday is the Bakri-Eid, followed by fourth Saturday and
Sunday. On Tuesday, it’s Christmas. Nothing can be a better place
than Kanha as watching forests and wildlife is exciting. It also
gives us a break from routine official work.”
The resorts are also cashing in on the opportunity by increasing the
rates by 20 to 25%, and even smallest of hotels have no rooms left.In
Kanha, normally, it costs between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 for a day.
However, five-star resorts like Taj charge Rs 30,000 per day,”
Dhanwatey says.

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