News Release

National Park Service Visitor Spending Generates Economic Impact of More Than $41 Billion

National Parks are a vital part of our nation’s economy and help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry. Visitors spent $21B in communities within 60 miles of a park. 340,000 jobs were supported by by visitor spending.
National Parks are a vital part of our nation’s economy and help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry.  Visitors spent 21 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park. Full image description below.

Graphic by NPS

News Release Date: June 11, 2020

Contact: NewsMedia@nps.gov

View the text alternative for the "National Parks Benefit You" infographic

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt today announced the annual economic benefit of national parks to the U.S. and local economies. In 2019, visitor spending in communities near national parks resulted in a $41.7 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 340,500 jobs. Visitor spending increased by $800 million from 2018 to 2019 and the overall effect on the U.S economy grew by $1.6 billion. In the last five years, visitor spending has increased by $4.1 billion and the effect on the U.S. economy grew by $9.7 billion.

“We have been working to safely welcome the public back to their national parks and provide more service again,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “These treasured places provide respite and recreation for the American people, in addition to vital economic support to gateway communities across the country. The tremendous value of our national parks is undeniable as is the need to adequately maintain them, which is why President Trump has called on Congress to address the decades of deferred maintenance.”

According to the annual National Park Service report released today, 2019 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, more than 327 million visitors spent $21 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park in the National Park System. Of the 340,500 jobs supported by visitor spending, more than 278,000 jobs exist in communities adjacent to parks. The report includes statistics by park and by state on visitor spending and the number of jobs supported by visitor spending.

“Safely increasing access to national parks and other public lands supports individual and collective physical and mental wellness, said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela, exercising the authority of the Director. “It also benefits park gateway communities where millions of visitors each year find a place to sleep and eat, hire outfitters and guides and make use of other local services that help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry.”

Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending totaling $7.1 billion in 2019. The restaurant sector had the next greatest effects with $4.2 billion in economic output. Motor vehicle fuel expenditures were $2.16 billion with retail spending at $1.93 billion.

There are National Park System sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam. Visitation varies across the country, from Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona to Grand Portage National Monument in Minnesota.

Last year, Grand Canyon National Park attracted nearly 6 million visitors who spent more than $890 million, supporting 11,806 jobs and generating a $1.1 billion total economic output. Grand Portage National Monument recorded approximately 94,985 recreation visitors who spent an estimated $6,208,000. That spending supported 78 jobs and more than a $6 million total economic output.

An online interactive tool enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. It also shows annual, trend data.

For additional state-by-state information about national parks and how the National Park Service is working with communities, go to http://www.nps.gov/[statename], for example: http://www.nps.gov/virginia.

National Park Visitor Spending Contributions to the U.S. Economy 2012-19.

 

Visitation

Visitor Spending

Jobs Supported

Local Jobs

Total Output

2012

282,765,682

$14.7 billion

242,712

201,040

$26.8 billion

2013

273,630,895

$14.6 billion

237,599

197,343

$26.5 billion

2014

292,800,082

$15.7 billion

276,960

235,600

$29.7 billion

2015

307,247,252

$16.9 billion

295,339

252,030

$32 billion

2016

330,971,689

$18.4 billion

318,000

271,544

$34.9 billion

2017

330,882,751

$18.2 billion

306,000

255,900

$35.8 billion

2018

318,211,833

$20.2 billion

329,000

268,195

$40.1 billion

2019

327,516,619

$21.0 billion

340,500

278,173

$41.7 billion


 

www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.



Infographic titled “National Parks Benefit You”. The infographic is decorated with illustrations related to national parks, such as a sun over mountains, trees, a summited rock climber, the Gateway Arch, and a map of the United States.

Text reads “National parks are a vital part of our nation’s economy and help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry.

Visitors spent $21 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park. 340 thousand jobs were supported by visitor spending.

Over 327 million visitors traveled to National Park Service sites in 2019.

A contribution of $41.7 billion to the nation’s economy. Every $1 invested by American taxpayers in the National Park Service returns approximately $10 to the U.S. economy.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area attracted more than 15 million people who spent more than $1 billion which supported 10,606 jobs and had a $1.4 billion total economic output. [Please note the updated estimate is $1.1 billion total economic income.]

Every $1 invested by American taxpayers in the National Park Service returns approximately $10 to the U.S. economy.

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument welcomed over 14,000 visitors who spent $839,000 within 60 miles of the park. That spending supported 13 jobs and had a $1.1 million total economic output. Images include silhouette of a bison, US map, and hiker.”

For questions about information on this infographic and the National Park Service’s 2019 National Park Visitor Spending Effects Report contact the National Park Service Office of Communications by emailing newsmedia@nps.gov.

Last updated: June 11, 2020

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