July 18, 2014
Contact: Vickie Carson
MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., July 18, 2014 – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 494,541 visitors to Mammoth Cave National Park in 2013 spent $40 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 567 jobs in the local area.
"At Mammoth Cave, we welcome visitors from every state and from around the world," said Acting Superintendent Lizzie Watts. "It is an honor to share stories of Mammoth Cave's history and scientific research, and help people experience the cave, the rivers, and the beautiful karst landscape of the park. Mammoth Cave National Park draws thousands of people to south central Kentucky, benefiting local communities and businesses. Many people make return visits."
Mammoth Cave is one of 401 areas managed by the NPS across the country. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning an average of $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had 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 https://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 park areas in Kentucky and how the National Park Service works with Kentucky communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/KENTUCKY.