An average of 3,350 tourists per day visited Slovak Paradise National Park during this year's summer season.
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This was reported by the Slovak Paradise National Park Administration, basing its statistics on the summer census of tourists, which it carries out every year.
This is a comparable number as in previous years, the SITA news agency wrote.
The largest share was domestic visitors, approximately 45 percent, followed by Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, Germans and other nationalities.
Suchá Belá marks a record
Dobšinská Ice Cave, Prielom Hornádu and Tomášovský Výhľad viewpoint continue to be among the most visited localities of Slovak Paradise.
Among the gorges, Suchá Belá is in the lead.
Attendance peaks during summer weekends and holidays.
According to the Slovak Paradise National Park Administration, this was most evident on Monday, August 14, when 2,455 tourists visited the aforementioned gorge.
This is the second highest number since 2017. The reason was a public holiday in neighbouring Poland and favourable sunny weather. The average summer attendance of Suchá Belá ranges from 500 to 600 tourists.
Impatient visitors destroy protected habitats
"With extremely high traffic, long queues form in the exposed sections. The most problematic situation is especially before the ladders at Misové Falls, where tourists waited more than an hour," described the conservationists.
According to them, it arouses tension among visitors and, at the same time, an effort to find shortcuts off the tourist trail.
"During such attempts, they trample vegetation, to which protected habitats are extremely sensitive," they added.
In an effort to avoid similar situations, the national park tries to regulate attendance and direct visitors to other, less frequented routes.
"We communicate with visitors personally in our information centre in Podlesok. At the same time, we have provided several information screens in Podlesok and in the centre of the village of Hrabušice, where visitors can find information about the accessibility of the gorges, and monitor the situation at Misové Falls in Suchá Belá via a live camera," explained the Administration of Slovak Paradise National Park.
Several attractive gorges
Footage from the live camera is also supplemented with information about a possible time delay.
The National Park Administration reminds the public that there are as many as nine attractive gorges like Suchá Belá in Slovak Paradise. At the same time, their attendance is significantly lower, without the risk of waiting in lines.
"The Piecky, Veľký Sokol, Zejmarská and Kláštorská gorges are easily accessible. A slightly longer route should be taken on foot to the Sokolia Dolina gorges with the 75-metre-high Závoj Waterfall, the second highest in Slovakia," conservationists advise.
They also recommend Malý Kyseľ, Veľký Kyseľ and Ferrata HZS Kyseľ, which are definitely worth the effort.
If you visit Suchá Belá, they advise you to go early in the morning and avoid the time between 10:00 and 12:00, when there is the greatest rush of tourists.
The counting of tourists is organised by the national park once in winter and twice in summer, in July and August.
It is implemented through the physical registration of tourists in census sheets at selected locations.
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