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Contact: George Land, 760 367-5507
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,942,381 visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in 2018, spent $146,479,000 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,823 jobs in the local area and created a total economic benefit to the local area of $195,883,000.
“Joshua Tree National Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent David Smith. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use 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 $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 peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 329,000 jobs nationally, with more than 268,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $40.1 billion.
Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion in 2018. Food expenses are the second largest spending area and visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.
Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs and more than 61,000 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.
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 California and how the National Park Service works with California communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/California.
Last updated: May 23, 2019