The National Parks of America are national treasures, visited by individuals and groups. Motorcoaches remain the primary transportation mode of groups into the National Parks for groups, including students, seniors, affinity clubs and many internationals visitors. Fair access to the national parks is essential to the travel industry.
The leaders of the Travel Industry Coalition: American Bus Association (ABA); International Inbound Travel Association (IITA); International Motorcoach Group (IMG); National Tour Association (NTA); Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA), United Motorcoach Association (UMA) and United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) have again united to work collaboratively to address the issues of access for motorcoach groups into the national parks.
Working collectively, the Coalition is approaching dialogue and a solution at the federal level with the National Park Service, as well as at the local level with specific national parks where issues of access to motorcoach groups have been identified.
Today, various national parks, that are staples on group itineraries, have independently introduced policies that:
- Restrict passenger levels to 9 passengers plus the driver on motorcoaches that can typically seat 55 passengers.
- Halt the issuance of Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA), permits required for motorcoaches/groups to enter the park.
- Restrict group transportation mode to vehicles under 40 feet, indefinitely.
Small working groups, comprising representatives of the travel industry, have to date, held productive discussion with Yellowstone and Grand Canyon National Parks. Such collaboration allows the parks to express their issues and concerns while the industry provides education on how we operate and potential solutions.
The Coalition has received positive feedback on this small group, collaborative effort, and we will use this as a productive approach moving forward. The Coalition also will continue to engage with the National Parks Service and promote heavily, that as an industry we are the green alternative for transportation; tour and motorcoach operators are able to facilitate safe and appropriate behavior; and fair access to the travel industry to our national treasures must be protected.
So that we can continue this unified, coordinated effort, please contact a member of the Coalition if you have National Parks concerns that should be addressed. This will allow us to work efficiently and effectively to a solution that serves us all.