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Contact: Mardi Arce, 210-534-8833
San Antonio, Texas – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 614,810 visitors to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in 2012 spent over $33 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 480 jobs in the local area.
"San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said park superintendent Mardi Arce. "We are honored to share the story of the missions and to use the park as a way to introduce visitors to the cultural heritage of San Antonio. We also appreciate the partnership and support of the San Antonio community and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain the local economy."
According to Ms. Arce, "With the completion of the Mission Reach extension of the San Antonio River Walk, which now connects all 4 of our missions to the river, the NPS anticipates park visitation to increase significantly over the next few years. In addition, if we are successful in obtaining World Heritage designation in 2015, a prior study has shown there is potential for significant increases in visitation and economic impact in the local area."
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. Most visitor-spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).
To download the report visit http://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 parks in Texas and how the National Park Service works with Texas communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/state/tx.