Commercial Visitor Services

 

What Are Commercial Use Authorizations?

Quite simply, a Commercial Use Authorization is a permit that allows a business to provide commercial services, like guided tours, to visitors within a national park. Not every type of business is eligble and businesses must apply and receive a Commercial Use Authorization to legally provide commercial services within a national park. There are different qualifications depending on which type of services the business will offer and there are requirements a business must meet in order to remain permitted. Read on and use the links provided here to learn more.

 

Important COVID-19-related Information

Executive Order 14042, Safer Federal Workforce Task Force COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors, and implementation guidance issued by the Department of the Interior requires all Commercial Use Authorization holders to be vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the National Park Service (NPS) is currently under a temporary injunction against the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

Therefore:

  • Whether or not a commercial authorization or concessions contract has a clause requiring the implementation of EO 14042, the NPS will take no action to enforce the clause while under the temporary injunction.
  • While NPS staff will not remove any statements or recent changes that have already been made to concessions contracts or Commercial Use Authorizations with regard to COVID-19 vaccination mandates, any new Commercial Use Authorizations or contracts that the NPS issues will have EO 14042 statements removed.
  • Since the court order is temporary and may change over time, this guidance addresses the current situation and it will be updated if there are changes to the court order.
 

What types of services can my business provide?

See and expand the panels below to learn about which business types and services can be permitted with a Commercial Use Authorization as well as the qualifications needed before applying.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License for each captain operating in the park. 

  • Vessel registration(s) or Documented Vessel Certificates 

  • Vessel insurance certificates 

  • State of Florida Fishing License(s) for each captain 

  • General Liability Insurance (USA must be additionally insured) 

  • Business License 

  • Everglades Boater Education Certificate (*Everglades Only) 

  • Pay.Gov Receipt showing proof of payment 

To keep your Commercial Use Authorization you will need to submit:

  • All Monthly reports from previous year 

  • Annual Report 

Non-motorized tours include, but are not limited to:

  • Kayak/Canoe tours
  • Biking tours
  • Hiking Tours
  • Photography
  • Birdwatching
  • Eco Tours

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Drivers License for each operator
  • CPR/First Aid and AED
  • Vehicle/Vessel Registration (If using to transport visitors in park)
  • Vehicle/Vessel insurance certificates (If using to transport visitors in park)
  • General Liability Insurance (USA must be additionally insured)
  • Business License
  • Pay.Gov Receipt showing proof of payment

To keep your Commercial Use Authorization you will need to submit:

  • All Monthly reports from previous year
  • Annual Report

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Drivers License
  • First Aid / AED Certification
  • Vehicle Registration
  • General Liability Insurance (USA must be additionally insured)
  • Business License
  • Pay.Gov Receipt showing proof of payment

To keep your Commercial Use Authorization you will need to submit:

  • All Monthly reports from previous year
  • Annual Report
 

Did you know?

Section 418 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998, Public Law 105-391, authorizes the National Park Service, upon request, to issue commercial use authorizations to provide commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances.
 

What's in it for...

Businesses that are granted a commercial use authorization are:

  • Permitted to operate within the boundaries of Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Part of the team of people inspiring visitors to appreciate and care for the preserve, its history, and its ecosystems
  • Listed on the preserve website

Through commercial use authorizations, Big Cypress National Preserve can:

  • Offer visitors additional experiences and ways to connect with the preserve that wouldn't be possible otherwise
  • Support the local economy through providing opportunities for small businesses
 

Ready To Apply?

If you've read the information on this site and believe you're ready to apply, click the button below to access the application.

 

Last updated: December 14, 2021

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