Washington, DC – A new organization to promote America’s National Parks was formed here, this week. The National Parks Promotion Council (NPPC) will assist the National Park Service in reconnecting Americans to their national parks by addressing downward trends in park visitation that threaten future support for the parks and the organizations, communities, states and economies dependent upon their visitors.
Unlike other national park organizations, the NPPC will focus exclusively on promoting “America’s National Parks” with resources and in ways presently not available to the National Park Service. The NPPC will recommend promotional funding strategies, seek partnerships and craft campaigns that serve to stimulate visitor appreciation and appropriate use of the treasured landscapes and educational resources across the National Park System.
Since the late 1980s, the percentage of Americans visiting national parks has declined. It is believed by park observers that many reasons contributed to this trend, including: greater choice about where Americans spend vacations and leisure time, changes in family composition, reduced outdoor activity, the urbanization of America and growing segments of American society that have no tradition of visiting national parks. Of particular concern is that today’s youth and many of the fastest growing segments of the public show little interest in experiencing America’s National Parks.
The NPPC is a non-profit membership organization with a board of directors comprised of representatives of national park cooperative and friends associations, tourism/hospitality entities, state tourism offices, gateway communities, the National Park Service (in an ex-officio capacity) and others interested in national parks. The NPPC board will receive guidance from finance, research and marketing committees comprised of nationally respected persons. The NPPC will promote the entire National Park System, including all natural, historical and cultural places within it.