Tourism to the Brookline and Cambridge Parks Group Creates $6.7 Million in Economic Benefits

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Date: May 16, 2018
Contact: Kathy McKay, 617 876-4491

Cambridge and Brookline, Massachusetts - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 93,400 visitors to this parks group, which includes Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, and Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, in 2017 spent $5.35 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 73 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $6.7 million.

“These sites welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Acting Group Superintendent Jason Newman. “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 economies as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our many neighbors and are glad to be a part of 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 $18.2 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). 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.

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

Last updated: May 16, 2018

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