Tourism Benefits Local Economy

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Date: February 26, 2013

A new National Park Service report for 2011 shows that the 1,348,304 visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore spent $132,774,000 in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 2,347 jobs in the local area.

"Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a wonderful place to learn about America's story," said Park Superintendent Dusty Shultz. "We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to experience the park and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities. The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America's most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy." 

The information on Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service.  For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide. 

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent), followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).

To download the report, visit and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. 

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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