Economic Benefit of Local National Parks

A lone hiker walking through the trails on the mountains.
A lone hiker enjoying Cheeseboro Canyon in the spring.

National Park Service

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News Release Date: April 24, 2015

Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Contact: Kate Kuykendall , 805-370-2343

Ventura, CA – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows the economic benefit of Channel Islands National Park and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to our local economy in supporting 706 jobs with a cumulative benefit to the local economy of over $68 million.

342, 161 visitors to Channel Islands National Park in 2014 spent over $ 20 million and 694,714 visitors to the federal land in Santa Monica National Recreation Area spent over $29 million in communities near the parks.

"The NPS has a presence in every community in the United States including ours," said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. "National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the NPS, and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

"We enjoy welcoming thousands of people to their parks each week," said David Szymanski, superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. "It's exciting that these visitors - whether they come from local neighborhoods or from afar - contribute to the local economy." 

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. 

The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally;235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).

To download the report visit https://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 California and how the National Park Service works with California communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/california.

This publication is available online at www.nps.gov/chis/parknews/newsreleases.htm

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Last updated: June 5, 2015

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