Hope rises for Jungle Lodges and Resorts as crowds are back

After tiger tourism ban, JLR offers wonders of wilderness

 The State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) near tiger reserves, which had been badly hit following the interim ban on tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves, appear headed for a revival.

The second week of August witnessed total occupancy in all these resorts.
The extended Ramzan holiday weekend worked in favour of JLR. This has come as a ray of hope for the resorts which were written off following the ban.

P Anur Reddy, Managing Director JLR said all the resorts in Melkamanahalli (Bandipur tiger reserve), Kabini (Nagarahole), K Gudi (BRT), Lakkavalli (Bhadra) and Kulagi (Anshi-Dandeli  tiger reserve) witnessed about 85 per cent occupancy.

“Initially we witnessed a loss of about Rs 40 lakh due to cancellation, but during these holidays we witnessed good influx of tourists in all the resorts,” he said. Reddy said tourists were coming to terms with the fact that there would be no tiger safari.
He said several alternative activities had been taken up by JLR to compensate for the tiger tourism ban.

“People just want to get away to the forests. They come here and enjoy their stay close to wilderness,” he said.

Accordingly, JLR has started activities for tourists such as bird watching and nature walk. The tourists at Bhadra are introduced to aqua sports and the JLR at Anshi Dandeli is  known for its aqua sports and some of the natural sites.

“In Bandipur, the guests are being taken on a short trek of five km. Those seeking more adventure are taken on a long trek which connects the Himavat Gopalaswamy Hills,”said Reddy. Sources in JLR said they suffered losses initially as many people thought the resorts were closed.

They said private tour operators take their visitors along the periphery of the reserve forests. But JLR only suggested that the guests take a drive in their own vehicles along the periphery of the parks.

“There have been good sightings along national highways 212 and 67 recently. Some of them even sighted a leopard,” Reddy said.

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