Park Visitor Management Platform For Sustainable Tourism
ParkPass is a booking platform for park agencies that want to make their destinations more sustainable, more enjoyable, and more profitable.
FEWER CARS, LESS IMPACT
Park operators can differentiate between types of visitors, such as private car arrivals, private operator clients, public transit users, traditional land owners, local residents, and many others - and create rules for each to fit management priorities
ParkPass is an efficient solution to introduce and manage visitor quotas for parks suffering from over-visitation. Operators can define limits for access points, time slots, or visitor types.
MORE VISITORS, IN RIGHT PLACES
ParkPass helps drive visitors from peak times and destinations to alternatives that are looking for more visitors, or to shoulder seasons. Multiple agencies can redirect visitor traffic to each other.
Better Visitor Experience
PREPARE YOUR VISITORS
Introduce automated pre-departure checklists so every visitor to your parks knows what to expect, and when to come - before they leave their house.
ParkPass offers trip planning tools to promote safer experiences for visitors, and emergency notification tools for park operators. Contact current visitors instantly in case of park emergency, and share trip details with SAR teams if needed.
ParkPass allow park operators to collect and analyze visitation data, survey visitors and continuously learn and get better
CAPTURE MORE REVENUE
Send more visitors to lesser-known parks and off-peak times where spare capacity exists - and collect more revenue.
ParkPass is a perfect solution for parks where checking every visitor on entrance is impractical, such as mixed development regions, marine parks and commercial operator-driven tourism
LOWER INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS
Reduce reliance on collecting entrance fees at physical park locations even with limited connectivity and remote locales with no Internet
HOW IT WORKS
ParkPass system is designed to be incorporated into park agencies' digital infrastructure, and also accessed centrally. It is a booking system for park agencies to issue visitor passes for specific times and locations. Park agencies will be able to introduce visitor pre-registrations, and encourage visitation at the the off-peak times and locations.
The web-based platform is made from 3 components:
1. Park Operator Dashboard
Park operator employees can manage visitation by securely accessing ParkPass admin module. Park Operator can:
- Define and modify quotas, timeslots and visitation limits for individual parks or destinations within parks based on management priorities
- View real-time availability and reservation details
- Contact individual pass holders, as well as mass-messaging capabilities for defined subsets of visitors
- Set rates, define discount codes and other special promotions
- Create and manage pre-departure messaging content
- View detailed visitation analytics
2. Visitor Registration
Park visitors will access ParkPass either through a park agency website, or, if designated by a park agency, through ParkPass website. Visitors can:
- View available destinations and time slots, and make a booking online
- Receive pre-departure information, along with electronic park pass showing upcoming visit details
After visitors make a reservation, they receive a confirmation via email along with pre-departure information, such as packing list, known dangers or Leave No Trace principles. They are also able to print or save their reservation on their phone.
ParkPass is working with AdventureSmart to develop pre-departure checklists and processes to ensure the system improves safety and outdoor preparation across Canada.
3. Warden Tools
Park staff can check the validity of passes issued as visitors arrive to the park, or conduct random spot checks.
No internet connection is necessary to verify the validity of a park passes.
Park staff have multiple options including:
- Instant car license plate scans (no cellular coverage necessary)
- Visual confirmation of printed or smartphone-displayed pass
- Bar code scan (no internet connection required)
- Cross-checking arrival lists, which can be printed, manually (for names or car license plates)
BOOKING CARES FUND
In December 2018, ParkPass received €100,000 grant from Booking.com.
Together with the Booking Booster Program and the Booking Cares Labs, the Booking Cares Fund sits alongside Booking.com’s internal volunteer program, where employees have long partnered with local organizations on projects that help improve destinations worldwide. Together these initiatives make up and further expand Booking.com’s commitment to make a positive impact on the global tourism industry. For more information about upcoming programs and opportunities, please visit the Booking Cares website.
Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,000 employees in over 200 offices in 70 countries worldwide.
BETTER ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TRANSPORTATION (BEST)
ParkPass is a project of BEST.
BEST is a non-profit charitable organization with a long history promoting sustainable tourism and transportation, through which we help build vibrant, inclusive communities. BEST offers innovative social enterprises, programs and services to encourage, promote and enable sustainable and active transportation choices.
BEST's programs include the award winning Parkbus initiative, The Bicycle Valet, Seniors Transportation Access and Resources (STAR), Living Streets and the BC Commuter Challenge.
AdventureSmart, and its suite of five programs, is a national prevention program focused on reaching Canadians, and visitors to Canada, who participate in outdoor recreational activities.
ParkPass is a digital platform that will give park agencies complete control over their visitor flow, and help spread benefits of tourism more evenly and equally beyond the “must-see” places. The platform will allow parks to issue visitor and parking passes in advance, limit spot availability for peak times and locations, and redirect visitors to alternative destinations and discourage use of private vehicles. ParkPass will also ensure that park passes are issued remotely and reduce parks’ reliance on expensive, outdated and often impractical methods currently used for fee collection in many locations.
Visitors will receive important park information (such as packing lists, park rules, prohibited item lists) during the registration process, making them more informed before their trip even starts. Real time messaging (such as safety advisories), post-trip information (such as surveys) and time-critical visitor information (such as details on people currently in the park) will give park agencies powerful visitor management tools that will make park visits safer and will further improve visitor experience.
Park agency employees will have direct access to the admin functions in the system, such as admission rates, pass availability, and communication tools. Interagency capabilities will give operators an option to redirect visitor flows to parks outside of their jurisdiction, encouraging cooperation between agencies, local communities, and other stakeholders.
ParkPass is a project of Vancouver-based Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) .
BEST is a non-profit charitable organization with a long history promoting sustainable tourism and transportation, through which we help build vibrant, inclusive communities. We offer innovative social enterprises, programs and services to encourage, promote and enable sustainable and active transportation choices.
Our current projects include the award winning Parkbus initiative, The Bicycle Valet, Seniors Transportation Access and Resources (STAR), Living Streets and the BC Commuter Challenge.
305 – 268 Keefer Street (Sun Wah Centre)
Vancouver BC Canada V6A 1X5
Phone: +1 604-669-2860
Boris is the co-founder and CEO of the award-winning Parkbus initiative, the world’s first dedicated city-to-park bus service that expanded across Canada and inspired similar initiatives around the world. Boris brings a wealth of entrepreneurial and IT experience, and he is passionate about parks and protected places.
Boris won numerous awards for his work, which was featured by over 200 publications including the National Geographic.
Boris holds an MBA as well as a computer science degrees.
Vitaly is a software engineer who architected, automated and deployed intricate analytics solutions, and complex distributed environments that handle billions of transactions every day.
He is director of engineering at Panvista Analytics, and a key advisor for several other companies, including Parkbus, on technology, automation, scalability and security.
Stephanie is the General Manager of BEST. She turned a small Bicycle Valet program in Vancouver into an extremely popular, successful social enterprise, while leading several other projects, and helping BEST achieve financial stability.
Stephanie has extensive experience working with government, nonprofit and private organizations, and holds a Masters of Community Development and a Bachelors in Human Geography.
Alan has extensive senior leadership experience in the fields of public policy, conservation, tourism and protected area management. As CEO of Parks Canada for 13 years, he oversaw one the most significant National Parks expansion in the organization's century of operations.
Alan also led the most significant ecological restoration program, has twice chaired the World Protected Areas Leadership Forum (WPALF), received the 2014 Fred Packard Award from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has been inducted in the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame.
Under Mr. Latourelle's leadership, a Reader's Digest survey ranked Parks Canada as the third-most-trusted institution in Canada. Alan has recently been appointed to the Order of Canada. He has an MBA from Queen’s University and a BA in accounting from the université du Québec in Hull.
Maike has worked in multiple functions in the tech and travel industry over the past 15 years. At Booking.com she is part of Strategic Projects Team and helps as a Global Change Manager with the integration of New Products & Services or Businesses.
She had previously worked at Expedia where she was the Senior Project Manager at Global Customer Operations and at Yahoo where she was the Senior Manager responsible for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In her free time she loves traveling and is very interested in keeping the planet and it’s communities in good shape for future generations of travellers.
Rochelle is Director of Research at the World Travel and Tourism Council and is responsible for the design and execution of the research that underpins the work of the organization. The policy and economic research undertaken for the Council ensures that recommendations and advocacy to governments are supported by rigorous methodologies.
Rochelle has spent her whole career in consumer and market research within the tourism sector. She has held senior roles at Which?, the UK's consumer organisation, TUI Travel and MORI (now Ipsos-MORI) where she was the lead for leisure research. Rochelle holds an MSc in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey and an LLDip from the College of Law, UK.
For the past 5 years, Michael has held a number of leadership roles at at the the City of Toronto, including Project Manager of Visitor Services, Economic Development & Culture, Acting Manager of Tourism Services, and Supervisor of Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Tourism.
Michael spent time in China developing local tourism businesses specializing in outdoor education, and managed hospitality programs at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Michael is currently a professor and program coordinator at School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts at Centennial College in Toronto.
Lindsay is a Senior Brand Manager for New Zealand's Department of Conservation (DOC). She brings in wealth of public and private sector experience in the tourism industry, including leading the marketing department at Urban Adventures, developing food and beverage tourism strategies for DMOs with the Culinary Tourism Alliance, and founding Stormfree Agency.
She has a Master's in Tourism Management (Distinction) from the University of Surrey, and a BA in Geography from the University of British Columbia. In 2015, Lindsay was named to the Phocuswright Young Leaders Class of 35 Under 35.
Dr. Rachel Dodds is a Professor as well as past Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Research Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto. Rachel has over 25 years of tourism experience working with tour operators, destination management companies, accommodation facilities, festivals and NGOs. Rachel has published hundreds of articles about sustainable tourism and is internationally regarded as an expert in this field. She is currently editing a book on Overtourism with Professor Richard Butler.
Rachel holds a PhD from the University of Surrey in the UK and a Masters degree from Australia. She has lived and worked in four continents and travelled to over 80 countries.
Adrian is an entrepreneur and experienced software engineer who founded Turn Off The App - Go Outside, or TOTAGO. TOTAGO is focused on bringing together transportation and trail information to expand access to parks, wilderness, and open space. The TOTAGO app makes it easy to find and plan hiking trips and other outdoor activities using public transit, shuttles, and other car-free transportation. TOTAGO works with clients and partners including the U.S. Forest Service, King County, VancouverTrails, Wilderness Society, among others. Adrian also leads the API Highways initiative for the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) where he has built relationships with organizations across public, private and NGO sectors.
Justin has been developing innovative and award-winning tourism initiatives and collaborative partnerships across Canada for over 15 years, including the Bike Train Initiative, Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum, LGBT Tourism Development Initiative, Stroll Windsor, Windsor-Essex Bike Bus, amongst others. He was named Ontario's Tourism Innovator of the year in 2011 for his work on BikeTrain.
Justin recently led the development and launch of the Ontario Tourism Innovation Lab, an incubator seeking to spark and support new tourism ideas and entrepreneurs through mentorships and start-up grants.
Olya is a co-founder of the Frost Methane project to detect, characterize and mitigate concentrated methane (a potent greenhouse gas) releases from arctic permafrost thaw.
Prior to Frost Methane, Olya was a system architect at Strong Atomics, working on clean energy in Sub Saharan Africa for Off Grid electric, and she lead a team at Google Energy working to enable universal access to zero-carbon energy. She also worked at Google X, firm's subsidiary focused on developing early stage, high impact projects.
Olya has a Masters in Computer Science degree from the University of Toronto, and Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.
Roy is one of Canada's top cybersecurity experts and is a Chief Product Officer at Cycura Inc - Toronto based IT security company.
Roy is a strategist, seasoned hacker and expert in cyber security business development and project management. He has a background in security, programming, research, management, marketing, sales and a unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects while navigating complex cyber challenges. Roy's passion lies in Big Data and Machine Learning, especially when applied to cyber security. As a multi-linguist of technology-driven business, he speaks fluent geek, marketer, designer, salesperson and investor.
Michael is the project manager of Ontario By Bike, Ontario's leader in bicycle tourism development. He has 20 years experience in sustainable tourism ranging from guiding to community-based tourism initiatives to developing indigenous tourism programs.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Tourism Management and a MA in Tourism and currently gives back to the industry as a part-time professor and volunteer opportunities in areas of tourism workforce and career development. He loves ‘playing in the woods’ with his family and riding his bike. Chat travel, music, tech, food and beer when you meet.
Is ParkPass an App? How can our visitors make a reservation?
No, ParkPass is not an app, and visitors do not need to download anything. The process of reserving a pass is similar to booking a concert ticket online.
What kind of IT support / training is required on behalf of park agency?
Basic computer use and access to internet are the only pre-requisites to using the system. ParkPass can be integrated within existing park agency website, in which case limited work with a web team will be required, or can be used via our upcoming ParkPass portal, in which case no extra prep work is necessary on the IT side.
What about private tour operators?
ParkPass allows park agencies to pre-set pass quotas for private tour operators. Parks can also limit and monitor how many passes are issued and/or used.
Can we set exceptions for local residents, traditional land owners, etc?
Park agency can opt to exempt either specific individuals, or groups from either using the system, from system quotas, or from park fees, if applicable.
What about visitors with no access to internet or walk-ins?
ParkPass reservations can be made online or by telephone. No access to a smartphone is required to reserve a pass, and several alternatives exist to accommodate visitors:
- Park agencies can opt to have a limited number of walk-in spots in the park for visitors that did not make a reservation in advance. This practice is advised especially during the transition period. Park staff can still issue passes on arrival, or opt to register visitors using legacy systems.
- Visitors can make reservations by telephone if they have no access to internet.
- Park operator have access to arrival lists, and can view reservations and arrivals in real-time. Reservations can be found and verified even if visitor is unable to present a pass, as long as the reservation was made previously.
How does ParkPass system work in remote areas with no internet?
Ultimately, making the reservation requires access to the system, either by telephone or the internet. However, reservations can be verified by park staff even without access to either. If a visitor makes a reservation in the morning and drives to a remote area with no internet, park wardens can still determine that the reservation is valid.
ParkPass can also work on its own or complement an existing system in place. Ultimately, park policies determine the exact outcome in each case.
What about liability and data protection?
ParkPass adheres to all Canadian rules and regulations in relation to data protection in accordance with Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). All personal data is stored in Canada, with regular backups as well as cybersecurity audits.
ParkPass also has insurance that covers data loss, theft and misuse.
How can the ParkPass system be used to communicate with park visitors?
ParkPass allows park agencies to maintain a line of communication with visitors, before, during and after their trips. In order to efficiently engage with a large number of visitors, ParkPass allows operators to automate pre-departure messages, reminders, alerts and requests for feedback.
We already have a visitor management system. Can we still use ParkPass to increase occupancy?
Yes, you just need to add your park into the ParkPass system along with information about park capacity and historical occupancy data. You can use one of our integration tools to sync occupancy data automatically, or add it manually using our online integration dashboard.
Does ParkPass require real time occupancy data to make dispersal decisions?
Real time occupancy data is not required - if real time occupancy data about a park is not available, any available historical occupancy data will be considered for each park when making visitor dispersal decisions.
How does ParkPass compare to traditional visitor management systems?
ParkPass is the only visitor management system that allows agencies to collaborate with each other to disperse tourism instead of just limiting it. In addition to the dispersal feature, ParkPass has several key advantages over traditional visitor management systems:
- It does not require the presence of any on-site infrastructure such as ticket kiosks and parking machines. ParkPass manages visitors electronically from people's devices. This can dramatically reduce the cost of deploying the system, so parks can hire more staff for general maintenance and enforcement.
- This model is particularly relevant in developing countries where deploying expensive infrastructure is often not an option - leaving most park agencies without any means to collect payment from visitors - but most of the population has access to a smart device.
- ParkPass gives Park Agencies all the tools they need to automate communication with visitors before, during and after their trips, send important real time alerts, and collect feedback. When used properly, the system can improve compliance with park rules, improve safety, and help agencies re-engage with visitors to get more return visits.