National Park Tourism in Arkansas Creates $151 Million in Economic Benefit

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Date: February 26, 2013
Contact: Caven Clark, Public Information Officer, 870/365-2790

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 2,879,494 visitors to national parks in Arkansasspent $151,000,000 in communities surrounding those parks. This spending supported 2,515 jobs across the state.

"The national parks in Arkansasare great places to learn about America's story," said NPS Regional Director Michael Reynolds. "We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to experience these parks and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know all that this state has to offer. 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."

To download the report - which provides park-by-park information - visit socialscience/products.cfm#MGMand click onEconomic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2011.   The national parks in Arkansasare: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 Military Park, and President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site.

The information 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 (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)

To learn more about national parks in Arkansasand how the National Park Service works withcommunities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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