Stakeholders criticize a second price increase for the Râbore safari.

Jaipur: The recent upward revision of safari fares in the middle of the tourists’ season at the Ranthambore National Park (RNP) came under flak for being too steep. The revised tariff, second time in a year, is criticised for being exorbitant and stakeholders alleged erratic decisions will discourage wildlife tourists from coming to the tiger reserve.A senior stakeholder, who wished not to be named, “It would be nice to know the reason for such impulsive actions taken by the concerned authorities starting with the ban on 5 vehicles available for full and half day safaris. It is illogical to arbitrarily increase entrance rates in mid-season. It sends a wrong message to visitors wanting to visit Ranthambore. This will discourage wildlife enthusiasts from visiting Rajasthan and instead they might go to Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra instead.”Now, tourists opting for a safari in gypsy will have to shell out Rs 1,305 instead of Rs 1,234. Similarly, for canter safari, tourists have to pay Rs 791, instead of Rs 739.The guide fee for gypsy has been increased from Rs 125 to 140 and the guide rate for canter has been increased from Rs 43 to 50 rupees per tourist. Similarly, the vehicle fee for gypsy has been increased from Rs 485 to Rs 535 and that of Canter has been increased from Rs 400 to Rs 440 per tourist.According to the forest department, after one and a half years, the guide and vehicle fees were increased by ten percent. However, stakeholders alleged the ultimately the increased rates will be borne by the tourists. As industry is thriving on domestic tourists, the revised tariff was criticized for being exorbitant. Hemendra Singh, a tour escort said, “Increase in prices is a big dent on domestic tourism. Indians are already cash strapped and such an increase will alienate tourists to alternative destinations.”Many alleged the timing to increase the tariff is not approximate as industry has still not recovered the pandemic losses. Vijaybhan, associated with wildlife tourism said, “Increasing money twice in a year is not a good decision. Industry is already battling after the pandemic. All these issues will snowball into a bigger problem for the tourism industry,” he said.

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