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Contact: Lauren Gurniewicz, 803-647-3969
A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 120,166 visitors to Congaree National Parkspent $2,928,000 in communities surrounding the park.This spending supported 48 jobs in the local area.
"Congaree is a wonderful place to learn about a local piece of the broader American story," said park superintendent Tracy Stakely. "Visitors from across the U.S. and around the world come here to enjoy the park's impressive natural resources and discover its extensive cultural history. They also spend time and money enjoying related services and opportunities provided by our neighboring communities, experiencing a small part of all the South Carolina Midlands has to offer. The National Park Service is proud to be entrusted with the care of America's most treasured places like Congaree, and we are grateful for our visitors and supporters who generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy."
The information on Congaree National Parkis 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 download the report visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in South Carolinaand how the National Park Service works withcommunities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to https://www.nps.gov/state/sc/index.htm?program=parks.
Established in 1976, Congaree National Park preserves the largest intact tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the United States. An International Biosphere Reserve and federally-designated Wilderness Area, the park serves as a classroom and laboratory for visitors, students, and scientists from around the world. For additional information about Congaree, call 803-776-4396.