March 1, 2012
Marsha McCabe, 541-594-3091
Washington - Spending by national park visitors in 2010 added $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs across the U.S., an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.
The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service.
"National parks are best known for their incredible beauty and the preservation of America's historical legacy but they are also the significant, clean, green fuel of economic engines for local communities and our entire nation," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
"The investment American taxpayers make in their national parks continues to offer a huge return, not only in priceless family experiences but in real jobs and economic growth in our gateway communities that ripples to suppliers across the nation," Jarvis added.
Vicki Snitzler, Superintendent at Oregon Caves National Monument, and Craig Ackerman, Superintendent at Crater Lake National Park, said the numbers show these two southern Oregon attractions reflect the same trend as the national results. Snitzler added, "We are proud to be members of the Southern Oregon community and of our contributions to the local economy." Oregon Caves generates about $6.5 million and 62 jobs through direct and indirect spending while Crater Lake generates over $34 million and 540 jobs. Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent), followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent). Ackerman said that the two sites have been working closely with the Southern Oregon Visitors Association and Travel Oregon to increase the number of visitors to the region and to lengthen the stays of those who travel here. Ackerman noted that "both parks have added new visitor attractions or amenities, such as the Trolley Tours and new trails at Crater Lake and new, off-trail caving experiences at the Monument."
The entire National Park Service report which includes information on visitor spending by park and by state, is online at http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM , click Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010 . For more state-by-state, information on national parks and how the National Park Service is working with communities go to www.nps.gov/STATE , for example: http://www.nps.gov/oregon .