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.
Last updated: April 21, 2016