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A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 785,300 visitors to Haleakalā National Park in 2013 spent over $47 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 536 jobs in the local area.
"Haleakalā National Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Natalie Gates. "We are delighted to share the story of this special place and the experiences it provides. 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 2013 economic benefit figures are somewhat lower than the 2012 results. The 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 accounted for most of the decline in park visitation. The authors also cited inflation adjustments for differences between visitation and visitor spending, jobs supported and overall effect on the U.S. economy.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service, along with Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber of the U.S. Geological Survey. The report shows $14.6 billion was spent directly by 273.6 million national park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a park. This spending supported 237,000 jobs nationally, with 197,000 jobs found in gateway communities, and with a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.
According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent). The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Hawaii and how the National Park Service works with communities in Hawaii to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/hi.