14th edition of Elephant Festival kicks off in Nepal's tourism hub Chitwan

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-26 19:16:45|Editor: Yurou
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KATHMANDU, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The 14th edition of Elephant Festival kicked off in Nepal's third popular tourism destination Chitwan on Tuesday with the participation of over 50 elephants.

The five-day event, organized by the Regional Hotel Association of Sauraha in Chitwan National Park, was inaugurated by Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.

The annual fiesta aims to bring humans closer with elephants, encourage wildlife protection and conservation and promote tourism in the region.

"We have been organizing this festival to enhance human-wildlife relations by engaging them into sports and fun and to promote tourism of Chitwan," festival coordinator Suman Ghimire told Xinhua over phone.

According to the organizer, the festival will showcase elephant walk, elephant football, elephant bath, elephant beauty contest and elephant picnic, among others.

"Our all games and activities will revolve around elephants," Ghimire added.

Elephant picnic was added to the schedule some three years ago to provide affection, care and respect to the elephants.

Chitwan National Park is enriched with abundance of wildlife and flora and fauna where elephant safari is one of the major attractions.

Besides the elephant adventures, the festival will also feature cultural procession, ethnic dances and musical programs with stalls of variety of local foods.

Hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists visit Chitwan every year to experience this incredible fiesta, which will conclude on Dec. 30.

Though Chitwan is a pioneer hub for elephant adventures, tourism entrepreneurs often claim that it still lacks tourists as compared to other tourism destinations of the country like Kathmandu and Pokhara.

"Around 800,000 foreign tourists visit Nepal annually, but unfortunately Chitwan receives only 25 percent of them. We believe such festivals will attract more foreign tourists towards wildlife adventure," Keshav Pandey, director at Green Park Chitwan resort, told Xinhua.