Tourism to Acadia National Park in 2015 created $305 million in total economic benefits

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Date: May 3, 2016
Contact: John Kelly, 207-288-8703

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that Acadia National Park's 2.81 million visits in 2015 resulted in $248 million in total visitor spending in the local communities. That spending supported 3,878 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $305 million.

"Acadia attracts visitors from across the country and around the world who come here to experience its unparalleled scenery, extraordinary recreational opportunities, and wonderful gateway communities," said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. "Acadia is consistently one of America's ten most visited national parks, and we're looking forward to an even busier year as we celebrate Acadia's Centennial."

National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy—returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS. The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the NPS. The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program website at The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. 

Last updated: May 4, 2016

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