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A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 610,045 visitors to Saguaro National Park spent $21.9 million in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 294 jobs in the local area.
"Saguaro National Park is an integral part of the Tucson community," said park superintendent Darla Sidles. "We are proud to protect one of the country's most iconic places and pleased that the visitors who come here to experience the park contribute so much to the Tucson economy".
The information on Saguaro National Park is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.
Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)
To download the report visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011.
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in Arizona and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/Arizona.