Parks Create Economic Windfall for Communities

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Date: July 18, 2014
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-475-9034

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2013 shows that over 2.9 million visitors to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Wright Brothers National Memorial spent more than $172 million in communities in and around the parks.This spending supported approximately 2,401 jobs in the local area.

"The Outer Banks Group national parks welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Barclay Trimble."They are wonderful places to experience the natural resources of the Outer Banks while also learning about facets of the American story."In addition, Trimble stated, "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 enjoyment of the services provided by our neighboring communities is necessary for our visitors to achieve a memorable experience and in turn these visitors contribute money towards the local economy.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," stated Trimble.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service.The report shows that $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

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 North Carolina and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to more information on the Outer Banks Group, go to,,, or call 252-473-2111.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


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