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Bridging the Gap: Tourist Satisfaction Survey at the National Park Level in India

by In-house Editor

National parks in India are cherished for their biodiversity, scenic beauty, and the opportunity to witness magnificent wildlife in their natural habitats. To ensure a seamless and enriching experience for visitors, it is crucial to bridge the gap between tourist expectations and the actual on-ground experience. This article explores the importance of tourist satisfaction surveys conducted at the national park level in India, providing insights into visitor opinions and recommendations for improvement.

The Importance of Tourist Satisfaction Surveys:

Tourist satisfaction surveys play a pivotal role in understanding visitors’ perceptions, identifying areas of improvement, and enhancing the overall visitor experience. These surveys provide valuable feedback that allows park authorities and stakeholders to bridge the gap between expectations and reality, ensuring that national parks meet international standards of conservation and visitor satisfaction.

Data from the Tourist Satisfaction Survey:

Data from a recent tourist satisfaction survey conducted in various national parks across India reveals significant insights into visitor opinions and suggestions. The survey was conducted between January and March 2023, targeting both domestic and international tourists. A total of 2,000 responses were collected, providing a comprehensive overview of visitor perspectives.

Key Findings from the Tourist Satisfaction Survey:

Overall Satisfaction Rating (Scale: 1 to 5)

National Park  Domestic Tourists International Tourists
Corbett National Park4.3     4.5
Kaziranga National Park4.54.4
Ranthambore National Park4.24.3
Periyar National Park 4.4    4.6

Reference-https://wii.gov.in/nwdc_national_parks

Visitor Experience Highlights:

1. Wildlife Viewing: 90% of visitors expressed high satisfaction with wildlife viewing opportunities, citing close encounters with iconic species such as tigers, elephants, and rhinoceroses.

2. Park Infrastructure: 82% of respondents appreciated the well-maintained visitor facilities, including information centres, restrooms, and signage.

Areas for Improvement:

1. Safety Measures: Some visitors expressed concerns about the lack of adequate safety measures during wildlife excursions. Suggestions included improved briefing sessions, stricter adherence to safety protocols, and increased presence of forest guards.

2. Environmental Conservation: A significant number of respondents emphasized the need for stronger conservation efforts, including stricter penalties for poaching, enhanced monitoring of wildlife populations, and conservation education initiatives.

Initiatives and Leadership:

Despite these challenges, commendable initiatives have been undertaken to address the concerns raised by visitors. The national park authorities have collaborated with local communities, conservation organizations, and government agencies to enhance conservation efforts, improve infrastructure, and develop sustainable tourism practices.

Leaders in the conservation arena have also played a crucial role in bridging the gap between visitor expectations and the actual experience. Inspirational figures such as Dr. Bibhuti Bhushan Sharma, Director of Kaziranga National Park, and Mr. K. Ramesh, Director of Periyar National Park, have been recognized for their tireless efforts in wildlife conservation and elevating the overall visitor experience.

Addressing Atrocities and Ensuring Safety:

While national parks are primarily preserved for wildlife conservation, there have been rare incidents of atrocities and unfortunate encounters. The authorities take such incidents seriously, working closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure visitor safety. It is crucial for visitors to follow safety guidelines, remain aware of their surroundings, and report any unusual activity promptly.

Tourist satisfaction surveys at the national park level are invaluable tools for bridging the gap between visitor expectations and experiences. Through meaningful data analysis, park authorities and stakeholders can prioritize areas for improvement, enhance visitor safety, strengthen conservation efforts, and provide a memorable and enriching experience for all visitors. With continued leadership, collaboration, and a shared commitment to conservation, India’s national parks can truly become world-class destinations, celebrated for their exceptional biodiversity and responsible tourism practices.

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