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Carlsbad, N.M- A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 428,524 visitors in 2010 spent over $23 million in Carlsbad Caverns National Park and in communities near the park. That spending supported more than 346 jobs in the area.
"Local people and area business owners have long known the value of having a national park nearby," said Carlsbad Caverns National Park Superintendent John Benjamin. "The park has a measurable economic value in addition to the benefit to the communities' quality of life, as a place to spend family time, learn, hike, watch wildlife and look at the stars."
Most of the spending and jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).
The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service.
Across the U.S, local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.
Visitors to national park sites around New Mexico spent about $67.9 million dollars and supported over 1,012 jobs. For more on how the NPS is working within New Mexico, go to www.nps.gov/newmexico
To download the report, visit https://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.