Greater benefits for tour operators in NSW national parks

Nature-based tour operators will now find it easier and cheaper to re-start their businesses after the catastrophic 2019-20 bushfires and will also receive support for surging visitation as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Jenolan River Waterfall

Environment Minister Matt Kean today announced that from 1 July, commercial tour operators will be offered a once-off upfront discount on their licence and a package of support to help them recover from the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to help Parks Eco Pass commercial tour operators to get back on their feet and provide exceptional visitor experiences, so we have changed the licence system,” Mr Kean said.

“Be it stand up paddle boarding in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park or cultural heritage tours in Gulaga National Park, our parks have never been busier and there are hundreds of high-quality tours for visitors to enjoy.”

“Operators will be able to receive discounts on first-year licence fees and better overall value for money for longer term licences.”

To help business re-start their nature-based tours, there are also shortened turnaround times for licence applications with free promotion on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Website.

Free Parks Eco Pass licences will be offered to Aboriginal-owned operators for the first two years to encourage and support new businesses to operate on Country.

All these changes are designed to support the more than 300 Parks Eco Pass licence holders to take advantage of the steady flow of visitors into our parks and to attract even more.   

Changes to tour operator licences are part of the NSW Government’s broader package to support businesses impacted by the 2019/20 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on changes to Parks Eco Passes for tour operators, go to the NPWS website.