Parks Eco Pass program for commercial tour operators

Parks Eco Pass is the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service program for licensing operators who conduct commercial tours and recreational and educational activities in parks.

Welcome to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) newly reformed Parks Eco Pass program. The program starts on 1 July 2021 and will provide added benefits for nature-based tour operators. The program will support operators to work with NPWS to offer exceptional visitor experiences across NSW national parks. Key benefits of the program include:

  • a licence package that provides value for money for commercial tour operators, including greater promotional support through NPWS marketing channels
  • a new licence fee structure and discounts
  • the waiving of annual licence fees for Aboriginal businesses for the first 2 years to encourage and support new businesses to operate on Country
  • new online resources to make it simpler and faster for operators to start working with NPWS to provide nature-based visitor experiences
  • new measures to maintain high-quality visitor experiences compatible with natural and cultural environments
  • a new complimentary Aboriginal cultural awareness training module to help operators develop and deliver tours in a culturally sensitive way.

Nature-based tourism is a major contributor to the NSW visitor economy. Commercial operators play an invaluable role, in partnership with NPWS, in promoting our parks and encouraging visitors to appreciate, understand and enjoy NSW national parks.

Any business entity, organisation or individual undertaking a ‘commercial activity’ associated with recreation, tourism and/or education in a NSW national park or reserve must hold a Parks Eco Pass licence.

For more information on whether you require a Parks Eco Pass licence, please read the NSW Parks Eco Pass: Operator handbook.

The Parks Eco Pass program streamlines licensing and creates consistency across NSW national parks. It offers:

  • one licence (obtained through one application) that allows your business to operate all your licensed activities, in more than one park
  • a single fee structure for the whole state
  • the ability to transfer your licence if you sell the business
  • licence terms of up to 5 years
  • a dedicated team and key contact point.

Licensing maintains the quality of activities provided in parks and prevents harm to natural areas. If you become aware of an unlicensed activity being run in a park, please report it to the Visitor Experience Branch at park.businesses@environment.nsw.gov.au.