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Contact: Caven Clark, Public Information Officer, 870/365-2790
A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 1,169,802 visitors to Buffalo National River spent $38,232,000 in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 528 jobs in the local area.
"Buffalo National River is a wonderful place to learn about the natural and cultural history of this very unique Ozark region," said park superintendent Kevin Cheri. "We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to get to know this amazing part of the country, experience the park, and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities. The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America's most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy."
The information on Buffalo National River 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 (11 percent), 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.
It is ironic that this information comes at a time when the immediate threat of limited personnel puts into question the park's ability to provide the facilities and services the public has come to expect and appreciate over the years. Buffalo National River is faced with a potential %5 budget cut.
To learn more about national parks in Arkansas and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to https://www.nps.gov/state/ ar/index.htm?program=all.