The renowned Mogao Grottoes in northwest China's Gansu Province will begin trial use of a facial recognition system for entrance on Thursday to cope with the growing number of tourists and ticket scalping during peak travel seasons.
Visitors who have not purchased tickets online in advance will be able to buy emergency tickets via Wechat and then scan their ID cards to enter four caves, without having to queue up for tickets.
With the facial recognition system, cameras will capture images of visitors' faces and scan their ID cards to verify their identity to prevent ticket scalping that has been a problem during travel seasons.
Normally, visitors can buy tickets on the official website 30 days in advance and visit eight caves.
Recently, visits to the caves have reached the daily limit of 6,000 as visitors pour in during the summer. Last year, the caves received 1.7 million visits, twice that in 2014.
The Mogao Grottoes, a 1,600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site, feature a huge collection of Buddhist art, including more than 2,000 colored sculptures and 45,000 square meters of frescoes in 735 caves.
Cover image: VCG