Tourism at national parks in the Greater Washington area generates almost $1.6 billion in economic benefit

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Date: April 21, 2016
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, 202-619-7177

WASHINGTON –A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2015 shows that the spending by more than 56 million visitors to national parks in the National Capital Region resulted in 16,917jobs and contributed almost $1.6 billion to the region's economy.

"The experiences offered at the national parks of the Greater Washington area draw visitors from across the country and around the world," Regional Director Bob Vogel said. "From locals enjoying their daily jog at Prince William Forest Park or a concert at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, to tourists seeing the Lincoln Memorial for the first time, visitors to our region's parks have a big impact on our economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service."

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 $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally;252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverage (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8percent), admissions and fees (10.2percent) and souvenirs (9.8percent).

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: go.nps.gov/vse.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

 

National Parks in the National Capital Region

Visitation (2015)

Economic Benefit ($ thousands)

Jobs Supported

Antietam National Battlefield

347,181

$29,466.0

298

Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial

532,051

$41,451.1

431

Catoctin Mountain Park

229,301

$18,389.8

189

Chesapeake &Ohio Canal National Historical Park

4,798,312

$126,688.6

1329

Clara Barton National Historic Site

2,823

$220.6

2

Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

681,537

$17,892.4

182

Fort Washington Park

337,432

$26, 088.1

269

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

3,290,080

$86,374.4

878

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

53,874

$1,412.0

13

George Washington Memorial Parkway

7,286,463

$66,515.2

847

Greenbelt Park

135,260

$10,954.0

111

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

282,893

$19,876.0

212

Korean War Veterans Memorial

4,077,835

$107,055.3

1,088

Lincoln Memorial

7,941,771

$208,495.2

2,120

Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac

232,883

$18,143.5

188

Manassas National Battlefield Park

502,045

$38,948.9

405

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

3,530,401

$92,683.6

941

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

8,249

$216.6

3

Monocacy National Battlefield

64,596

$7,395.1

76

National Capital Parks - East

1,220,404

$32,444.5

332

National Mall &Memorial Parks (not including monuments and memorials listed separately)

1,833,085

$48,171.0

491

Piscataway Park

148,730

$11,500.5

120

President's Park (White House)

903,161

$23,710.7

242

Prince William Forest Park

312,108

$23,149.1

233

Rock Creek Park

2,443,771

$64,341.6

656

Theodore Roosevelt Island

159,739

$12,445.0

131

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

3,102,441

$81,448.3

828

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

5,597,077

$146,940.0

1,494

Washington Monument

493,550

$12,957.2

131

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

407,351

$31,860.8

332

World War II Memorial

5,068,224

$133,056.0

1,352

TOTAL

56,550,891

$1,590,700.0

16,917



Last updated: April 21, 2016

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