From its beginnings, the National Park System has had an important and dynamic relationship with tourism. Well before the establishment of the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916, railroad companies and lodging operators brought visitors and commerce to parks and gateway communities. Today, as tourism and destination management grow in scale and complexity, the National Park Service works with destination organizations, tourism associations, and the private sector to manage responsible tourism that supports conservation and preservation, provides high-quality visitor experiences, and contributes to community vitality.

Park Ranger and park volunteer smiling

What We Do

The Tourism Program collaborates with the travel sector to support responsible tourism that benefits parks, communities and visitors.

Front view of Mount Rushmore with blue skies

Tourism Resources

Digital tools, permit information, tour ideas and more

Bristle cone pine with colorful night sky in Great Basin National Park

Case Studies

Examples of NPS collaborations for successful tourism management

Two recreationalists in a kayak enjoying smooth waters in a glacial lake

Plan Your Visit

Start planning your next trip to a national park today!

Last updated: June 15, 2020