Women in Buses: Tour, Travel & Charter Committee | Unraveling the NPS Fee Structure Mystery
In April 2018, the National Park Service (NPS) finalized two proposals that considerably increase the fees and administrative costs for commercial road-based tour operators to bring tour groups to NPS sites, including parks, seashores, monument etc. These changes are to go into effect on October 1, 2019. The primary purpose of these increased cost burdens is for NPS to generate revenue pay for its $12 billion maintenance backlog.
The first proposal increases the entry fees to visit an NPS site, and eliminates the vehicle entrance fee in favor of a per passenger entry fee, for groups. The second proposal requires commercial road-based tour operators to obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) for each NPS site they plan to visit on tour. To obtain a CUA for a season it will require: 1. The submission of an application (at a cost of $300); 2. The payment of a $5/passenger management fee for every passenger brought to the NPS site using the CUA (for the entire season); and 3. the filing of an annual report for each CUA obtained, in addition to submitting any fees that were not paid at the entrance to an NPS site.
Together, these two changes not only significantly increase the cost of group travel by motorcoach to every NPS site, but they cause all sorts of confusion for operators. Further, because NPS has failed to provide much detail or outreach on the program or how it will be executed, and local NPS officials have not received training on these new changes, motorcoach and tour operators are left with little information or support on how to comply with the changes.
Motor Coach Industries
The focus of this committee would be to work on issues of importance to travel, tour and charter segment including tour product development.
- Create a network of tour and charter planners, DMO/CVB, and travel industry members for tour product development.
- Provide education of industry trends, itinerary development, contracting/negotiations, co-op opportunities and other important travel/tour topics.
- Develop resources to assist in the promotion of this segment in the industry.
- Build a mentoring program for new women in the travel, tour and charter segment
- Participate in a active network of women tour professionals.
This committee may interest the following members:
- Tour Operators
- DMO/CVB Staff
- Travel Industry Members (Hoteliers, Attractions, Dining, etc.)
- Tour Coordinators
- Charter Coordinators
Visit http://www.buses.org/wib for more information on the Women in Buses Council.