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Park fees axed in win for tourism operators in WA’s national parks

Oliver LaneAugusta Margaret River Times
The $400 licence fee for tourism operators in national parks and conservation areas will be dropped by the State Government.
Camera IconThe $400 licence fee for tourism operators in national parks and conservation areas will be dropped by the State Government. Credit: Tourism WA

Tourism operators in national parks and conservation areas will have their licensing charges dropped in July, saving them more than $400 a year.

The change in costs will impact roughly 400 businesses during the four-year trial and mean those operating in areas managed by the Department of Biosecurity, Conservation and Attractions would no longer need a Class T licence.

It usually costs $406 for one year or $2030 for five.

Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti said the rules would help more people see the best of Western Australia.

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“Local industry and operators are the backbone of our tourism industry here in Western Australia, and it’s important we continue to do all we can to support them,” she said.

“By slashing costs for our operators, we’re helping to continue to drive visitation into our beautiful national parks and conservation reserves, which we know have seen huge visitation post-COVID.

“Sustainability of our industry is another key area we’re focusing on to help ensure tourism in Western Australia can thrive long into the future, so we certainly welcome these new industry standards from the Tourism Council of WA.”

Operators would achieve an “enhanced” Sustainable Tourism Accreditation through assessment of accessibility and a commitment to reducing emissions.

Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the rules would create a balance for tourism operators.

“Tour operators make a valuable contribution to Western Australia’s economy, not to mention its national parks and conservation reserves,” he said.

“We want WA to be a sustainable and accessible destination while supporting our tourism businesses to be the best they can be.”

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