New Pricing Policies at National Parks Could Push Operators to Reduce Tours
By Michelle Baran
June 25, 2018
Suzanne Rohde, vice president of Government Affairs & Policy, spoke with Travel Weekly about the National Park Service's plans to raise entrance fees and CUAs on motorcoach groups traveling in the parks across the country.
Suzanne Rohde, vice president of government affairs and policy for the American Bus Association, which represents bus operators, tour operators and other travel companies, said the NPS did not do its due diligence before creating these requirements.
"NPS did not conduct any outreach to our industry," Rohde said, "and the way they put these proposals out also seems to indicate that they don't really understand how the industry works with regard to the transportation side as well as putting the tour package together."
She said that in a landscape where some motorcoach companies also operate as tour operators and where the relationships between transportation companies and tour operators are not uniform, it isn't exactly clear how the park service defines "commercial tour operators" and who will ultimately be on the hook for all the fees.
"And they really haven't taken questions on it to [help] understand it," she added. "We're not entirely sure who's going to pick this all up, but one way or another, it's going to be passed on to the customer, and in the end it's going to be the parks that suffer."