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Contact: Caven Clark, 870-365-2790
OMAHA, NEBRASKA –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 3,282,634 visitors to national parks in Arkansas spent $174,168,400 in the state in 2015. That spending resulted in 2,788 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $214,853,200.
"The national parks of Arkansas attract visitors from across the country and around the world," said Cameron Sholly. "Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip, or a month-long family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy - returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and a big factor in our state's economy as well, a result we can all support."
The national parks in Arkansas are: Arkansas Post National Memorial, Buffalo National River, Fort Smith National Historic Site, Hot Springs National Park, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site, Pea Ridge National Memorial Park, and President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home.
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 go.nps.gov/vse.
The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Arkansas and how the National Park Service works with Arkansas communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/ARKANSAS.