UNESCO’s recognition triggers visitor surge at Si Thep Historical Park in northern Thailand

Si Thep Historical Park | Photo taken from the Tourism Authority of Thailand website.

Si Thep Historical Park in Phetchabun experienced an unexpected surge in visitor numbers over the weekend, following its announcement as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on September 19. The ensuing tourism influx prompted local agencies to call on the government for increased accommodation and facilities for the increasing number of tourists.

Sittichai Poodee, the director of Si Thep Historical Park, revealed yesterday, September 25 that over 5,000 visitors had descended on the park on Saturday, with a similar count recorded at Khao Klang Nok, a neighbouring historical site.

The combined visitor count at both locations reached 20,000 over the weekend, a figure that exceeded the park official’s expectations.

In response to the overwhelming visitor numbers, Sittichai has sought additional support from local government bodies, including the provision of more public bathrooms and a tourist centre. Furthermore, Sittichai is in discussions with local agencies to introduce traditional performances at the park on weekends and public holidays as a warm welcome to tourists.

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The park’s official fan page noted on Sunday that the park’s two parking lots were filled to capacity due to the influx of visitors. A Facebook user also drew attention to the crowded historical park in a Si Thep community Facebook group, highlighting that inadequate management was stalling the potential growth of tourism-related businesses, reported Bangkok Post.

The user proposed that authorities in Phetchabun establish a tourist centre catering to both Thai and foreign visitors. In tandem, the authorities could collaborate with local entrepreneurs to set up souvenir or food shops within the park and arrange for local tour guides. The user also suggested implementing an organised waste management system.

The Facebook user stressed that there should be a designated area for businesses or tourist accommodation, as these facilities cannot be set up within the historical park. He noted that such a plan would contribute to the community’s prosperity.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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