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Over 150000 domestic, foreign tourists visit Bamyan annually

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Located in the center of Afghanistan, the ancient Bamyan is one of the most secure provinces that beside the devastated Buddha statues, thousands caves on the heart of mountains as well as the old cities of Gholghola and Zuhak and its natural scenes and cultural monuments enjoy universal reputation. Following the blasting of Buddha statues in 2001 during the petrified rule of Taliban, this province was deprived of tourists. Fortunately as a result of indefatigable rebuilding efforts once again this province hosts local and foreign tourists. In an interview with The Kabul Times reporter, the head of Information of Bamyan provincial department of Information and culture Ahmad Hussein Ahmadpoor said, despite of escalating insecurity and wars in a number of provinces, the number of visiting domestic and foreign tourists has increased in Bamyan.  The first National Park of Afghanistan, Band-e-Amir hosts during spring and summer daily thousands Afghan families from Kandahar, Herat, Jalalabad, Balkh, Kabul and hundreds foreign tourists.
He added, in the first six months of the year 2016, approximately 287, domestic tourists visited Bamyan ancient sites and 212 foreign tourists visited ancient sites.
A considerable development is the increase of domestic tourist to Band-e-Amir. In recent years, the culture of picnic has been common among families of volatile provinces due to feding up of war, improvement of economic situation, security in Bamyan.
The incharge of Bamyan Wild Life Protection Organization, Mohammad Ibrahim Ebrar said, in the first five months of last year, over 130000 domestic tourists visited Band-e-Amir. Although no precise data are available, but we imagine that in current year, over 150000 tourists including 300 foreigners visited the National  Park of Band-e-Amir.
Ebrar added, in the past tickets were given only for persons but today tickets are given for cars Afs 100, for mini buses Afs 300. And foreign cars Afs 500.
Talking on the available facilities in Band-e-Amir, Ebrar said, there are over ten small restaurants, tens rooms for rent, 3 sailing companies and tents  for rents are available there. Touching the animals in Band-e-Amir, Ebrar went on to say, fishes, Deers, Swans, Goose, Loopard, Persian leopard and over 170 native and immigrant birds specially a type of small rare bird called “Snow bird” as well as over 500 kinds of rare natural herbs. All these animals and brides are accommodated there in spring and winter.  
He added, a number of 50 Botanists from different countries who were searching for national herbs, have discovered over 50 kinds. These herbs specially a rare and expensive plant called chemistry bush, was found in Bamyan. Unfortunately all these bushes are usually burned by locals.
Touching the challenges there, Ebrar said, 14 villages IVO Band-e-Amir use these plants and bushes as firewood that causes destruction of natural environment and greening areas. Hunting of fishes is another challenge.