The Benefits Of Private National Parks Tours
Many tourists worldwide are traveling to national parks instead of tourist destinations like Disney Land in 2016. Tourism at these protected spaces has grown so much over the past few years that parks like Zion Canyon have begun attempting to solicit ideas on social media as to ways to alleviate the overcrowding problem that has begun to present itself. The overcrowding issue is probably stemming from the success of the "Find Your Park" campaign which was launched a few years ago to attempt to increase travel to these spaces. While it did, in fact, accomplish this goal, what has occurred is that it has increased the traffic to "popular" parks significantly while doing almost nothing for smaller and lesser-known parks. The result has been lines for shuttles in Zion that are more than 300 deep, and serious concerns over traffic, pollution, parking and general upkeep of the popular areas. Suggestions being considered include cutting off visitation to parks after a certain number of people have been admitted, restricting visitation to those with an "appointment," and potentially closing off "pinch points" where visitor flow gets bottlenecked on specific trails. None of these potential solutions are satisfactory and none of them are going to make many people happy, but the interest in touring national parks has now begun to threaten them. Probably the most impactful potential solution would be a massive advertising campaign for the "less popular" parks, in order to divert some of the traffic away from the more popular ones and to spaces that are not so crowded at different times of the year.
While park officials and regulators attempt to find solutions that would alleviate the issues with the least amount of inconvenience to tourists, an undercurrent is rising of people taking the situation into their own hands in order to cut down on traffic. While this is not going to change the sheer number of people that are visiting the spaces, it can potentially reduce the amount of cars that are traveling to them, thus reducing pollution and alleviating parking issues. This movement is being led by touring companies who offer tours to national parks, and especially by those that offer private national parks tours. The sentiment is that if enough people begin to carpool or take tours from professional companies that transport groups to the areas within a single vehicle, the traffic that the areas are forced to deal with will be reduced significantly. A single tour company bus will hold upwards of 20 people if they are on the smaller side, and upwards of 100 people if they are offered by a larger operator, which can reduce the number of cars that would typically transport these numbers of people by more than tenfold.
Private tours of national parks are a more personalized version of the normal tours offered by companies, and instead of grouping people who do not know each other together they are offered to a specific group that is arranged at the same time. This approach is very positive towards reducing traffic because these groups can be assumed to be traveling to the area with or without a professional company leading them, which almost guarantees that multiple cars would be transporting them. It is statistically a very low number of people who arrange private tours with numbers less than four people, and logic dictates that five or more people would split between two cars to make the long trips to a national park. Through using a private tour company, not only are those two cars reduced to a single vehicle but the tour itself will move the visitors through the area faster due to a knowledge of specific visitation areas. Speeding up the process of seeing the sights and experiencing the area, along with reducing traffic to the area can potentially solve the overcrowding issues we are now experiencing.
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