BARIPADA: The Covid-19 pandemic has not impacted tourist footfall at Similipal National Park since it reopened on November 1, after a gap of more than eight months. Rather, the numbers have been better compared to previous years. The park registered a footfall of 7,618 visitors collectingw `44.40 lakh as revenue since its re-opening.
When the park was closed in mid-March following the pandemic which affected the tourist inflow, it had recorded 28,554 visitors while `1.04 crore was generated as revenue. After the park reopened, the number of visitors has been encouraging, Deputy Director JD Pati said.
Between November last year and December 10, as many as 36,172 visitors visited the national park. During November-June period, about 30,092 visited the park in 2018-19, 31,740 in 2017-18, 29,130 in 2016-17 and 30,431 in 2015-16.
On November 1, at least two gates - one from Pithabata under Baripada Wildlife Division and another at Kaliani in Jashipur block were opened for the tourists. The resumption of tourist activities started amid strict Covid-19 safety protocols.
As per reports, visitors have been advised to collect entry permits from Jashipur, close to Kaliani entry point and Pithabata from 6 am to 9 am. They have also been directed to leave the sanctuary area latest by 5 pm.
Tourists can book accommodation for night halt at Gudgudia, Kumari, Ramtirtha, Barehipani and Jamuani through the website www.ecotourodisha.com.