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Šumava National Park to survey visitors’ wishes

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Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, July 7 (CTK) – The Czech Sumava National Park (NPS), which was visited by over two million people last year, will in September launch a three-year project mapping what the visitors want to see the most in the NPS, park spokesman Jan Dvorak told CTK on Friday.

The NPS in south-west Bohemia will cooperate in the 18 million crown project with its German partner, the Bavarian Forest National Park. The first partial results are to be known at the end of 2018, Dvorak said.

He said a similar method will be applied to the Krkonose National Park (KRNAP), north-east Bohemia, and the national parks Ceske Svycarsko (Czech Switzerland) in north Bohemia and the Podyji (Thaya River Valley) in south Moravia, in the future.

The Sumava research also wants to find out why visitors go to the park.

Dozens of counting devices will be installed in the NPS within the project.

During the first two years, visitors will be counted and in the third year, the data will be analysed.

“The project will provide more precise data on visitors and we will find out what they want, why they go here, whether to see attractions, nature, the wilderness, whether they wish more attractions, or on the contrary, more of undisturbed nature, whether they mind the park leaving nature to its spontaneous development without people’s interference. This will be also useful for people who want to do business in the national park,” Dvorak said.

The NPS visitor rate is only guessed now. There are counting devices in information centres and field guards make their own estimates.

“Their data make a total of more than one million people and we multiply the figure by two, which is an estimate that should be realistic because our guards are not everywhere,” Dvorak said.

In the past five years the visitor rate has been growing by up to 20 percent annually. Many people arrive by their own cars, some use “green” buses. More and more people use bikes and electric bikes on their visits to the SNP.

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