Tourism to Western PA National Parks Creates $44 Million in Economic Benefit

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Date: March 3, 2014
Contact: Jeff Reinbold, (814) 893-6322

Shanksville, PA – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 802,503 visitors to the five Parks in Western Pennsylvania in 2012 spent over $44 million in communities near the parks. That spending supported 677 jobs in the region. The five parks include: Allegheny Portage Railroad NHS, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Friendship Hill NHS, and Johnstown Flood National Memorial.

"The five parks in Western Pennsylvania are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Jeff Reinbold. "We are delighted to share the story of these five places and 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.   We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to contribute to our local economies."

The study presents the impact solely from visitor spending and does not include the economic benefits from National Park Service purchasing or the multi-million dollar construction projects at Flight 93 National Memorial.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists  Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&B's (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report visit The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about the parks in Western PA, go to or call 724-329-8131.

To learn more about how the National Park Service works with Pennsylvania communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to


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Last updated: May 8, 2018

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