Theres an interesting article in the BKP - concerning the planned move to control NP access by having visitor quotas and the pre-purchase of tickets at convenience stores.
"Authorities plan to control the number of visitors to national parks by limiting sales of tickets, which will only be available online at convenience stores. Thanya Netithammakun, director-general of..................
Am not sure what you all think of this but it works fine for me as I tend to plan things ahead. I suppose its largely aimed at the really big (in terms of visitor numbers) parks like Khao Yai on a long weekend.
I would guess theres a potential for some kind of price restructuring planned as well, as well as something for the accommodation/camping charges as well as a potential per day charge being thought of as well. Going to be interesting.
My thoughts when I read the story in the BKK Post were that its going to be inconvenient for me as I travel around for while I have an itinerary the time I spend at a park can be extended or cut short depending on what I find there. But then my interest at present is in the smaller and less visited parks so if it only applies to the most popular places, well not so bad.
Second thought was 'convenience stores' presumably that means 7/1. I can see me or any tourist going into a 7/11 and saying "I would like a ticket to visit ....... national park" and be greeted with a blank looks and arai na as none of the staff speak a word of English except hello. So I try in my poor version of Thai "Phom dongan bai suan heang chaat.........." More blank looks as the customers line up behind me.
So what to do now that I have exhausted my supply of words and am holding up everyone behind me ? Give up and just go I suppose to be asked for a ticket at the gate and try to explain to the park staff who also dont speak English that I couldnt get one because nobody at 7/11 could understand me. Not so good if I have to travel 400 odd KM to get there.
OK so if they must have a ticket system to prevent overcrowding how about on line same as booking the accommodation and make ticket bookings only on weekends and holidays.
Good points - I often travel around looking for new places and I had not thought about, what if I come across a park entrance after a few hours of driving around and I cannot get in without going back to the local 7/11 (I think we have to assume that 7/11 is the outlet concerned as it has the system infrastructure and software already).
I had not thought about online - I guess that will be in the works now they have this new fangled payment system the government is promoting (prompt pay or something).
What I am most intrigued by is the DGs reported (I say reported as I don't hold the journalistic integrity of the BKK in high regard) remark ...... He dismissed any concerns over lost revenue. Admission fees were a by product, he said. The department was actually tasked with conserving national parks, not promoting tourism. That I find very intriguing.
Just a quick reply.
Capping the visitor numbers is a good thing. But I have my doubts if this system is going to work.
What I am worried about is the line of people buying a ticket at the nearest 7-eleven to the Khao yai entrance on an average weekend.
I doubt many of the people plan ahead which exact day they will go in the parks, so they will be at a hotel near the park, and then that morning decide to visit the waterfall in the park. They will buy last minute. Don't know if any one of you has been in the line in front of the kY entrance on busy weekends, but this will now just move to the local 7-eleven.
And anyhow you will be in a line again waiting at the entrance to show your ticket. And then you will see two-third of the vehicles have to reverse/ turn around to drive to a 7-eleven, because I doubt many people will know in advance that they need a ticket from a 7-eleven. they will hear that at the entrance...