Tourism benefits of Apostle Islands 2016

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Date: April 28, 2016
Contact: Julie Van Stappen, 715-779-3398 ext 1601

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 232,662 visitors to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 2015 spent $36 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 571 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $44 million.

“Apostle Islands National Lakeshore welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Bob Krumenaker. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

“Due to the amenities of our area, such as quality restaurants and Bed and Breakfasts, the economic impact of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was similar to much larger and more heavily visited parks, such as Big Bend National Park and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, added Superintendent Krumenaker.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. 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).

To download the report visit

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Wisconsin and how the National Park Service works with Wisconsin communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

Last updated: November 11, 2016

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