Sharing the Vision
National Parks ... for the benefit and enjoyment of the people
National Park Hospitality Association Washington, D.C. The National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA) is the national trade association of the businesses that provide lodging, food services, gifts and souvenirs, equipment rentals, transportation and other visitor services in the National Park System. Concessioners have served park visitors since the 1870’s. NPHA members have a combined workforce of nearly 25,000 persons – mostly front-line, visitor-contact jobs – and provide in excess of $1.1 billion in goods and services to visitors annually. NPHA members operate in more than 100 park units and generate more than $100 million annually for the National Park Service budget. Guest Donation Programs operated by concessioners have provided millions of dollars for park projects and programs.
Our national park system is a model envied by all.
Through the vision shared by many great people in our nation's history, such as Theodore Roosevelt, whose legacy is carved in stone, our national park system is a model envied by all and copied by many. Early park supporters, such as Stephen Mather, first Director of the National Park Service (NPS), and Horace Albright, a crusader for the establishment of a national park bureau, emphasized the value of parks as sources of awe inspiring wonder for those who visit and stand before nature's treasures. Mather and Albright were convinced that visitors must be attracted and accommodated if the parks were to flourish. To accomplish this, they concluded that automobiles should be allowed throughout the park system, hotels should be provided by private operators, and educational activities should be encouraged to share the magic and mysteries of these places. While it is imperative that the parks be preserved for future generations, Mather and Albright rightly foresaw that the land could and should be responsibly used to accommodate and serve visitors.
From its establishment, the NPS has been challenged to follow Mather's and Albright's lead:
"Conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
Parks Should be Accessible to Everyone
Members of the National Park Hospitality Association are committed to preserving access to all National Parks for all people.
Not everybody can don a backpack and trek across the wilderness. But with responsible management of the parks, and services provided in them, everyone can come and experience the wonder and joy of these “wild” places.
From the mysterious enigmas of ancestral Pueblans, to the powerful serenity of national battlefields, to the geologic wonders of Yellowstone's ecosystem, these places are our links to the past as well as our windows to the future.
Visitors' Enjoyment is Our Motivation
Today our parks are more than just a quick vacation stop on the way to somewhere else
Visitors can enjoy accommodations ranging from primitive campgrounds, to rustic cabins, to luxurious and famous hotels. NPHA members provide many conveniences to make the experiences more enjoyable, such as transportation to final destinations and restaurants throughout the system. Concessioners offer diverse educational and recreational activities including narrated motor coach tours, old west cookouts, off-road vehicle adventures, mule rides, boat tours, houseboat rentals and river rafting, among others
The members of NPHA know that they live and work in special places and take seriously their opportunities (and responsibilities) to share these resources through services to the park visitors.
As Theodore Roosevelt one said: “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
The work of accommodating visitors and helping to preserve the parks' resources are enterprises shared by the concessioners and the NPS.