The National Park Service preserves America’s natural and cultural treasures, attracting visitors from across the country and around the world.

Quick Facts

For just over a century, national parks have drawn people from across the U.S. and around the globe who enjoy their splendor as a recreational opportunity or simply as an unparalleled sightseeing experience. But beyond their natural beauty, our public lands contribute to our local and national economies.

In 2016, the national parks welcomed nearly 331 million visitors, supporting 318,000 jobs and generating $12 billion in economic activity annually. By restoring park operations and maintenance funding, launching the Centennial Challenge and reauthorizing recreational fee authority, we’ll make strides in ensuring visitors a safe, enriching park experience our national parks’ next century of operation.

The National Park Service is seeking comments on its recently released seasonal fee and commercial use proposals on entry fees at 17 parks. Deadline: November 23, 2017.

Recommendations

Support the National Park Service Legacy Act

Aging infrastructure and decades of underfunding have resulted in a backlog of maintenance repairs that is estimated at $11.3 billion. The Legacy Act would establish a federal fund to provide dedicated annual resources to restore national park infrastructure.

Restore Park Funding

The quality of the visitor experience depends on the capacity to keep parks open, trails maintained and visitor centers staffed. Budget cuts in recent years have shortened park hours, reduced the number of rangers and deferred park operations and maintenance. Basic federal investment is needed to protect park resources and the countless local economies that depend on them.

Reauthorize Fee Authority

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) authorizes the National Park Service to issue annual passes and charge entry fees. This revenue is essential to underwrite maintenance, education and law enforcement at individual parks. Unless FLREA is renewed, national parks will lose about millions annually.

Quick Facts

  • 84M

    Acres of national park land in the U.S.
    Including battlefields, seashores, recreation areas, national monuments and other designated areas.
  • $11.3B

    Value of needed national park maintenance repairs currently backlogged.
    Transportation projects – including roads, bridges, tunnels and transit services – comprise more than half of the backlogged maintenance repairs.
  • 331M

    National park visitors in 2016.
    National parks supported 318,000 jobs and generated $34.9 billion in economic activity in 2016.

Research, News and Commentary on Public Lands

Travel Leaders Urge Congress to Prioritize Airport Modernization

November 03, 2017

Dozens of leaders representing major segments of the travel industry are urging lawmakers in both chambers of Congress to address much-needed enhancements in the aviation system. In a letter signed by 145 organizations, our industry asks lawmakers in the House and Senate to advance a Senate-passed approach to airport funding with a cap adjustment to the Passenger Facility Charge.

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White House Ruin trail at Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Preserving Our National Parks: Raising Entrance Fees Can’t Be the Only Solution

October 31, 2017

The travel community believes user fees should be part the discussion, but must be part of a balanced approach to tackling NPS’s maintenance backlog. 

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Upper and lower Yosemite falls

Happy 101st Birthday, National Park Service!

August 28, 2017

America’s national parks and monuments are worth celebrating for their unique beauty—and for their impact on our country’s economy. 

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Travel Industry Thanks President Trump for Salary Donation to NPS

April 07, 2017

National Parks aren’t just about beauty and stewardship—they’re also vital to our economy. 

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Happy Holidays from U.S. Travel

December 16, 2016

With final approval given for Norwegian Air International to expand service to the United States and with the passage of the National Park Centennial Act, the travel industry is ending 2016 on a bright note.

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Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

U.S. Travel Hails Passage of National Park Service Centennial Act

December 06, 2016

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement upon the House's passage of H.R. 4680, the National Park Service Centennial Act

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