Tourism to Gettysburg and Eisenhower Parks Creates $92 Million in Economic Benefits

A park ranger leads a Pickett's Charge program. The group stands in an open field next to a small monument. A large red barn, trees, and monuments are visible in the distance.
A park ranger leads a Pickett's Charge program.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: April 27, 2018

Contact: Katie Lawhon, 717-338-4402

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,089,800 visitors to Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site in 2017 spent $68.1 million in communities near the two parks. That spending supported 871 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $91.8 million.

“Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Chris Stein, Acting Superintendent. “We are delighted to share the stories of these places and the experiences they provide.”

“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 support of our partners at the Gettysburg Foundation, Destination Gettysburg, and many other organizations, businesses and neighbors, and we are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities,” added Stein.

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 $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors 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 lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.
 
According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.5 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.0 percent), and local transportation (7.5 percent).

 
Park Unit Total Recreation Visits Total Visitor Spending (2017) Jobs Economic Output (2017)
Eisenhower NHS 50,598 $2,892,800 39 $3,949,600
Gettysburg NMP 1,038,650 $65,268,000 832 $87,853,400








Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore 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: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.
 
To learn more about national parks in Pennsylvania and how the National Park Service works with Pennsylvania communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to https://www.nps.gov/state/pa/index.htm.



Last updated: April 30, 2018

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