Bhopal : During the year 2018-19, 88 thousand 683 tourists reached Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, one of the most popular tiger reserves of the country. This includes 79 thousand 852 Indian and 8 thousand 831 foreign tourists. Due to this the Reserve earned the highest ever revenue of Rs. 3 crore 11 lakh 35 thousand 923. It may be mentioned that in the tourism year 1997-98, only 988 tourists visited Pench Tiger Reserve, which did not include any foreign tourists. Pench Tiger Reserve was ranked first in management in Tourism year 2010-11 and second in the year 2014.
Pench Tiger Reserve is the highest vegetation density park in the country. Besides the abundence of the carnivorous animals here including tiger, leopard, wild cat, dog, hyena, jackal, fox, wolf, mongoose etc. and vegetarian species including mainly bison, chital, sambhar, nilgai, Chausinga, Chinkara, wild boar etc, the beautiful forests also attract tourists here. About 325 species of birds can be seen in the national park in different seasons. Migratory birds throng in the submerged areas of the park’s Totladoh reservoir.
The Pench Tiger Reserve has 116 km route and 82.3 sq km (20 per cent) of area for tourism. Tourists are given entry through 3 entrances of Rukhad, Telia and Khawasa. For the convenience of tourists 96 guides including 12 women guides made available here by the Forest Department. Ten women have been appointed in Turia, one female guide each in Karmajhiri and Telia Buffer. A total of 56 guides are available at the Turia entrance, 11 at Karmajhiri, 6 each in Jamtara and Telia buffer, 2 in Rukhad buffer and 3 in Sakata buffer. Similarly, 142 registered vehicles are also available in Safari. Maximum 124 of these are available at Turia Gate, 10 at Karmajhiri and 8 at Jamtara.
Tourism in the park provides employment to local people along with environmental protection awareness. Activities conducted here for tourists include bird watching, jungle safari, local cultural programmes, jungle camps / tents, nature trail, scientific study, tree-houses, interpretation centres, etc.