- Access limited to 200 jeeps per day
- Tourism authorities say move will help industry
The safari jeep operators at the Yala National Park carried out a protest campaign yesterday morning demanding unhindered access to the wildlife sanctuary, which is one of the country’s top most tourist attractions.
The Yala National Park was opened for the public yesterday after a two-month closure.
The opening saw the introduction of a new rule, which restricted the number of safari jeeps accessing the park to 200 a day—100 jeeps in the morning and another 100 in
This was introduced after consultation with the Wildlife and Tourism authorities as Yala was being overcrowded.
Safari jeep operators claim that tourism will suffer due to the new regulation. But the country’s tourism authorities are of the view that the move would in fact help tourism in the long-run and also protect the fauna and flora at the national park.
They said the new regulation is aimed at ensuring discipline, order and sustainability at the Yala National Park.
While the move is commendable, the tourism authorities are yet to carry out a proper study into the recreational carrying capacity of Yala National Park and take necessary regulatory actions to preserve this invaluable national resource for the future generation.
Over a half a million tourists visited Yala National Park in 2015.
There were numerous incidents recorded at many occasions of unrestrained safari jeeps playing mayhem in the Yala National Park as jeep drivers follow their own jungle law within the sanctuary.