Sujit Banerji, Chairman of the Forest, Environment and Eco-tourism Committee and former Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, said this while addressing a seminar on tourism in Guwahati organized by the Tour Operators Association of Assam (TOAA) that tourism around Kaziranga would soon be shifted from the core area of this national park. “Buffer areas need to be well forested and so once wildlife starts inhabiting these areas, pressure of tourism is shifted from the core areas. There has to be incentives for the local community to allow forest increase in buffer areas,” Banerji observed.
There has been much apprehension among tour operators in Kaziranga that tourism would be hampered because of the tiger project. Banerji said tourism is as important as conservation but there has to be a balance.