Parks prepare for busy holiday weekend

Khao Yai National Park tests a booking system using another app called QueQ, so visitors can book visits in advance in June 20, 2020. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

National parks, especially Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima province, are expected to be crowded this upcoming long weekend, the first since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Data in "QueQ", a new online ticket booking platform, showed more than 10% -- or 3,500 out of total of 30,000 visitors booking online tickets to enter the 127 national parks nationwide -- would go to Khao Yai.

They will be visiting national parks from July 4-6, according to Chongklai Voraphongston, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).

The DNP has tried to adapt to the "new normal" by opening an online ticket booking platform on June 25.

The site only allows people to book tickets within 15 days of their planned visit, part of the DNP's goal to limit the number of visitors to each park.

For instances, Khao Yai National Park will have a maximum 5,000 visitors per day, compared with a daily average of more than 10,000 in the past.

By last night, the online daily quota of 3,500 had already been reached for July 4 -- the remaining 1,500 visitors will be walk-ins, he said.

Mr Chongklai said the department expects some national parks to be crowded this weekend and the DNP would impose strict rules to make sure visitors adhered to social distancing.

Visitors to national parks are required to check in and out by using the state-developed Thai Chana website and follow other health measures.

The DNP will also close each park for three months each year for the sake of environment conservation.