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Contact: Doyle Sapp, (336) 288-1776
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 321,796 visitors to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in 2016 spent $18.8 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 318 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $25.45 million. These numbers increased significantly from 2015, indicating the publicity from the “Find Your Park” campaign assisted with the increase of visitation and spending by multiple audiences – local and non-local. National park tourism is a critical economic driver for gateway communities and the nation.
“Guilford Courthouse National Military Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Doyle Sapp. “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 $12.25 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 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, a $2 billion increase since the previous fiscal year.
According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (33.7 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.26 percent), gas and oil (11.68 percent), recreation industries (10.25 percent), and retail (9.73 percent).
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. https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm
To learn more about national parks in North Carolina and how the National Park Service works with North Carolina communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, select North Carolina in the drop down menu from the link above, and select “Visitor Spending.” See the infographic below for Guilford Courthouse NMP’s “Visitor Spending.”