Visitor Spending Creates More Than 23 Million in Economic Benefits

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Date: April 25, 2017
Contact: Kelly Fellner

Patchogue, NY - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 431,303 visitors to Fire Island National Seashore in 2016 spent $18.6 million in Long Island gateway communities. Visitor spending in local communities had a cumulative benefit of more than $23.5 million to the local economy and supported 217 jobs. 

"People come from across Long Island and around the globe to see Fire Island National Seashore," said Superintendent Chris Soller. "Visiting the iconic Fire Island Lighthouse; New York's only federal wilderness area; or, the home of one of New York's signers of the Declaration of Independence can be a wonderful introduction to this region's rich natural and cultural resources." 
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).
Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in New York State and how the National Park Service works with New York communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

Last updated: May 2, 2017

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