National Park tourism in the Greater Washington area generates almost $1.6 billion in economic benefit

Date: April 21, 2016

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 (National Capital Parks -- Central -- see some 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