Parks Canada passes free for Canada's sesquicentennial
Published Wednesday, January 6, 2016 11:19AM MST
Last Updated Thursday, January 7, 2016 11:17AM MST
To celebrate the country’s 150th birthday, Parks Canada officials are offering people the chance one of the best ways to commemorate the occasion, by enjoying all Canada has to offer in the great outdoors.
The campaign, which is all part of the Trudeau government’s plan to promote the National Parks, offers visitors free admission to the country's National Parks and related sites during Canada’s sesquicentennial year.
Tourism experts in Banff National Park say it’s a great opportunity for people, including many who have never been to Banff before, to experience all the park has to offer.
“If you are a first timer, come and walk down Banff Avenue,” says Nancy Daldalt with Banff-Lake Louise Tourism. “Try snowshoeing, try curling, go skating on our natural skating rink at the high school here. Go cross-country skiing, tobogganing, tubing, dog-sledding. There is everything in the park!”
The park pass isn’t also just for Banff. There are about 100 National Parks, Marine Conservation Areas, and Historic Sites that the pass gives holders access to, coast to coast.
Many tourists at the park were thrilled to hear about the promotion to come back again and again over the next while.
While those people visiting from outside Canada say they wish they lived closer to take advantage of the pass, those fees will be keeping the agency afloat.
Parks Canada says entrance fees accounted for about $59M in its 2015 revenue.
However, while that money may be lost, Daldalt says the incentive will help tourism in the parks themselves.
And 2017’s free year is just the beginning of the promotion. Ottawa says that in 2018, all children will enjoy free admission to all National Parks.
Any adult who has become a Canadian citizen can visit National Parks for one year afterwards.