News Release

Tourism to our National Parks Benefits our Local Economy

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Date: April 26, 2018
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2017 shows that 383,687 park visitors spent an estimated $23.1 million in local gateway regions while visiting Channel Islands National Park. That spending supported 308 jobs and contributed $32.3 million to our local economy.

In the past year, 897,593 visitors to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area spent an estimated $38.3 million in the local area, supporting 512 jobs and providing $51.8 million in economic benefit.

“While our parks are national treasures, our neighbors and local communities do much of the work to help us protect them and to welcome visitors," said Superintendent David Szymanski of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. “It's gratifying to know that this work not only satisfies the spirit.  It's good business, too.”


“The NPS has a presence in every community in the United States, including ours,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. “National park tourism is a significant driver in our economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS.”

The report shows that, nationwide, 330 million park visitors spent $18.2 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally; 255,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the NPS.  They produced an interactive tool that explores visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies.

The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

Last updated: April 26, 2018

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