Tourism to Cape Lookout National Seashore creates over $20 million in Economic Benefit. Report shows visitor spending supports 297 jobs in the local economy

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Date: March 4, 2014
Contact: Wouter Ketel, 252-728-2250 ext. 3014

Harkers Island, NC – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 480,294 visitors to Cape Lookout National Seashore in 2012 spent $20 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 297 jobs in the local area.

"Cape Lookout National Seashore welcomes visitors from across North Carolina, the USA and around the world," said Superintendent Patrick Kenney. "We are delighted to share the story of Cape Lookout and the experiences it provides.National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every tax dollar 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 the local communities and we are glad they benefit from the park."

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber, and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report, visit 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 North Carolina communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to


Last updated: April 14, 2015

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