April 25, 2015
Contact: Jason Ginder
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 109,957 visitors to Big Thicket National Preserve in 2014 spent $6,743,000 in communities near the park. That spending supported 95 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $8,632,900.
“Big Thicket National Preserve welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. 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.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.
According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).
To download the report visit https://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Texas and how the National Park Service works with Texas communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/texas.
Big Thicket National Preserve is in southeast Texas just north of Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 112,000 acres scattered across a 3,500-square-mile area. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.
For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit www.nps.gov/bith or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.