After months of working closely with the National Park Service, ABA and IMG are happy to share guidance for Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
According to the NPS:
Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park announce the 2021 commercial vehicle occupancy standards. Until the announcement, groups coming into the park were limited to 10 persons in a vehicle, including the driver and tour director/escort.
The following two commercial vehicle occupancy parameters have been established and are effective immediately:
- Operators who commit to having all customers/passengers either vaccinated or tested immediately before the trip (72 hours) will be permitted to enter the park at 100 percent capacity.
- Operators that cannot commit to having all customers/passengers either vaccinated or tested immediately before the trip (72 hours) will be limited to 50 percent of vehicle capacity, or 10 persons (including driver, guide), whichever is greater.
Grand Teton CUA holders and Concessioners: CUA holders shall continue to operate in accordance with the guidance that was formally provided on March 29 (including supplemental guidance). Concessioners shall continue to operate in accordance with their accepted COVID-19 Risk Management Plan Addendums.
Yellowstone CUA holders and Concessioners: The park is sending additional information to you separately.
Continued COVID-19 mitigations such as mask wearing, and other C.D.C. recommendations will also remain in place.
These parameters are the result of a collaboration between Yellowstone National Park leadership, in particular Superintendent Cameron (Cam) Sholly and Zach Allely, chief of Business and Commercial Services, working with a small group of organizations including: American Bus Association, International Motorcoach Group, Karst Stage, Tauck Tours, Globus, Western Leisure, and Destination America, to increase access and capacity. To help ensure visitor safety and address the needs of Yellowstone, the industry recommended they will confirm all passengers are vaccinated/tested or will reduce capacity.
Operators will sign the certification document confirming which of these models they chose to operate under, or if choosing to operate a hybrid model - some trips under the model #1, others under model #2, a signature on the document certifies they understand and agree to comply with the parameters described for each. This document will not need to be presented at entrance stations but should be carried in the tour vehicle and may be requested at any time.
Operators are independently responsible for understanding and complying with the most current applicable laws, regulations, orders, ordinances and other requirements and for conducting their operations in a manner that is safe and protects the health of employees, customers and the public.
Please see the links below about COVID-19 guidance for multi-day road-based tours and transportation system operations. The guidance is based on current information.
- Multi-day Road-based Tours COVID-19 Guidance (March 24)
- Transportation System Operations COVID-19 Management Practices (March 10)
If conditions change, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks reserve the right to change these parameters immediately. Please understand the parks will make every effort to communicate the need for the change in a timely manner; however, depending on conditions, immediate action may be necessary.
Commercial bus tours pay fees based on the seating capacity of the vehicle. The following fees cover entry to Yellowstone:
- Commercial Sedan (1-6 seats): $25, plus $20/person
- Commercial Van (7-15 seats, regardless of occupancy): $125
- Commercial Mini Bus (16-25 seats, regardless of occupancy): $200
- Commercial Motor Coach (26 or more seats, regardless of occupancy): $300
- Commercial entry good for seven days as long as it's the same passenger group.
"ABA and IMG want to thank the National Park Service, especially Superintendent Cam Sholly and Zach Allely, for being leaders in taking into consideration the needs of the park and those of the traveling public," said ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso and IMG President Bronwyn Wilson.