Parks Canada who manages a nation-wide network of 171 national historic sites, 46 national parks, one national urban park, and four national marine conservation areas has announced increases to user fees beginning in 2020. Fees were last adjusted in 2008.
Parks Canada’s budget is 80% funded from Government tax-based appropriations and 20% from user fees. Tax dollars are primarily used to create and preserve national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas, as well as historic canals.
- Based on the Consumer Price Index and in accordance with the Government of CanadaService Fees Act, there will be an increase of 2.2% to Parks Canada fees. This means that Adult day passes will increase by about 40 cents and overnight full-service campsite admissions will increase less than 80 cents. The annual Family/Group Discovery Pass will increase by approximately $3.
- Due to a significant increase in their visitor offer in recent years, and to align with Parks Canada’s national pricing model, admission fees at 24 national parks and historic sites will be adjusted, beginning January 1, 2020. Admission fees are based on the number of hours a visitor typically spends on-site and the level of service provided to visitors including the availability and variety of programs, services, and facilities.
Visitor fees are reinvested in the maintenance of visitor facilities and transportation infrastructure, development of on-site signage, maps and exhibits, delivery of visitor programs, visitor safety, and marketing, communication, and trip planning support for visitors.
Admission to all Parks Canada places remains free for youth 17 and under in order to allow them to experience the outdoors and learn more about our environment and heritage. There will be no changes to user fees in 2019.
In order to ensure that Parks Canada always provides exceptional visitor experiences, Parks Canada is launching a public consultation on fees for optional value-added services and amenities like guided tours and programs, transit services, special event permits, golf, and access to hot springs. This feedback will help inform future pricing decisions to ensure a fair fee for services that offer a high-value benefit for visitors. Any changes resulting from this public engagement would not be implemented until 2021.