Enhance the Visitor Experience at National Parks

Queue management systems and other solutions can help national parks improve the visitor experience by reducing wait times, providing real-time information, and personalizing recommendations. 

National parks allow visitors to connect with nature, experience the great outdoors, and learn about the natural world. The United States has an increasing desire to connect with natural environments. In 2019, 327.5 million people visited US national parks, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone seeing over  12 million  visitors in 2020.

This popularity and increase in interest, particularly in the following months of the pandemic, creates the problem of managing visitor traffic, maintaining visitor happiness, and safeguarding the park's delicate ecosystems. This is where intelligent systems, such as queue management, come in.

Record-breaking Visitation: an Opportunity to Innovate

According to a report done by the Department of the Interior, several national parks are experiencing record-breaking amounts of visitors, resulting in overloaded facilities, transportation congestion, and natural resource damage. In reality, the research claims that 12 of the 20 most frequented national parks saw "extreme" or "high" levels of overcrowding in 2018, demonstrating that the problem existed before the pandemic and is worsening as a result of being restricted for so long.

Overcrowding can negatively influence the visitor experience, such as long lines, trouble obtaining parking, and limited access to popular sites. It can also cause excessive noise, poor air quality, and damage to park infrastructure.

To address these concerns, the National Park Service has been researching new ways to regulate visitor flow, reduce congestion, and protect park resources. Among the solutions available are queue management systems (QMS), digital signage, and customer feedback.

Illustration that simulates how it would be to review the application to verify location

Smart Solutions: Improving Customer Experience and Making a Difference in the Environment

Providing an enjoyable experience for visitors is just as important as caring for the natural space, which is home to many native animals and plants. In other words, it can potentially benefit visitors and the environment.

Here are some solutions that can help:

  1. Queue Management Software 

A QMS assists national parks in managing visitor flow and reducing wait times at entry points. Visitors can be directed to the appropriate sections based on their ticket type, group size, or other characteristics, minimizing congestion and improving the park entry experience. Visitors can spend less time waiting in line and more time enjoying the park if park entry is efficient. 

Book a time slot Visitors can reserve a time slot for popular attractions or activities, reducing wait times and ensuring a more enjoyable experience.

Real-time communication Visitors can receive real-time information on park activities, closures, and wait times, helping them make informed decisions about their visit.

Personalization National parks can personalize the visitor experience by providing tailored recommendations for activities, events, and attractions based on visitor preferences or previous visitation data.

  1. Digital Signage

Digital signage has evolved as a powerful tool for communication and participation in various industries, and national parks are no exception since they can benefit immensely from its use. Incorporating this software may transform visitor communication, make navigation easier, promote park offerings, educate visitors, assure safety, and support sustainability.

Enhance visitor communication and keep them informed Deliver real-time information to visitors through digital screens. This can include important updates such as trail closures, weather alerts, safety guidelines, and park regulations. Digital signage can also be crucial in disseminating vital information to visitors in the case of emergencies.

Wayfinding and navigation National parks often cover vast areas with numerous trails, attractions, and facilities. Digital signage can be used to create an interactive wayfinding system that guides visitors to their desired destinations. This can include interactive maps, trail markers, and directional signage.

Promoting park amenities and programs Provide an effective platform to showcase the diverse offerings of the national park. This can include upcoming events, ranger-led programs, educational activities, and exhibits. By promoting park amenities and programs, digital signage encourages visitors to explore and engage with the park beyond the surface level, leading to a more enriching experience.

  1. Customer Feedback

Using a Customer Feedback service shows a dedication to transparency and accountability. Visitors love it when their thoughts are appreciated, and instituting a feedback service demonstrates that park management actively seeks their input. This will help visitors develop trust, positive relationships, and a sense of ownership and pride, leading to increased loyalty and recurrent visits. 

Obtaining and analyzing consumer feedback is critical for national parks to improve their products and visitor happiness continuously. Here are three major advantages of using a customer feedback service in national parks:

Enhanced Visitor Experiences: 

  • Identify areas for improvement in park facilities, amenities, interpretive programs, customer service, and overall satisfaction.
  • Make informed decisions about how to improve the visitor experience.
  • Implement changes that enhance the overall visitor experience.


Improved Park Workflows: 

  • Identify operational inefficiencies.
  • Streamline processes.
  • Optimize resource allocation.
  • Train staff more effectively.
  • Improve park operations.


Sustainability Initiatives:

  • Engage visitors in sustainability dialogues.
  • Implement strategies that align with their conservation goals.
  • Foster a sense of environmental stewardship among visitors.
  • Promote sustainable practices within the park and its surrounding communities.

ACF Technologies: Solutions for a Sustainable World

Our goal at ACF Technologies is to transform the way customers experience national parks, not only by providing smart solutions such as queue management, digital signage, and customer feedback but supporting innovation and sustainability at the same time. 

Visitors can have a good experience, leaders and staff can learn to improve their approach, and nature can still be cared for.

Schedule a demo and learn more about creating a sustainable experience with our smart solutions.