National Park Service Visitors Contribute $195 Million to Local Economy

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Date: April 23, 2015
Contact: Kathleen Sandt, Public Affairs Specialist, (570) 426-2472 (O); (570) 234-9144

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 4,041,672 visitors to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in 2014 spent $133 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2013 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $195 million.

"For 50 years, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area has welcomed visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent John J. Donahue. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. 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 peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.The report shows$15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs (9.9 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 Pennsylvania and New Jersey and how the National Park Service works with communities in those states to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to or

For more information, call park headquarters between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm at (570) 426-2452; visit our website at or follow us on Facebook at

Last updated: June 8, 2015

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