The heavy tourist inflow is also paving way for largescale infrastructure growth. In the past one year, the number of hotel rooms has doubled in the area from 200-odd to over 450.
Leading national hotel chains like Fern Gir Forest, The Gateway Hotel-Taj group and Club Mahindra have already made their entry into the sanctuary. More players are in the process of setting up resorts here.
“About 20 hotels were granted permission before the two km norm was implemented. Most of them have commenced operations this year,” said deputy conservator of forests, Sandeep Kumar. The sanctuary earned over Rs 4 crore from entry ticket sales. Until two years ago, the collection used to be around Rs 2 crore.