News Release

Tourism to Saguaro National Park creates $88,682,500 in Economic Benefits in 2017

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Date: May 17, 2018

Tucson, AZ – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 964,759 visitors to Saguaro National Park in 2017 spent $60,716,800 in Tucson and other communities near the park. That spending supported 866 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $88,682,500. “The Giant Saguaro cactus, an iconic symbol of the American Southwest draws visitors from across the country and around the world. Visitors can experience exceptional wilderness, scenic views and a richly diverse ecosystem, all in close proximity to a large urban community," said Leah McGinnis, Superintendent at Saguaro National Park." National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our urban neighbors and are glad to be able to contribute to the local economy.” 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 $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally; 255,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion. The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs. According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.5 percent), fuel (12.1 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.0 percent), and local transportation (7.5 percent).

Saguaro National Park
3693 S.Old Spanish Trail
Tucson, AZ  85730


Last updated: May 17, 2018

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