March 4, 2014
Barbara Goodman, Superintendent, (904) 221-5568
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –– There are four National Parks within Northeast Florida. A recent National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,630,000 people visited these sites during 2012. National Park Service reports that these visitors spent $120 million in the communities near the parks and that spending supported 2,015 jobs in the local area. The four parks are Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, Fort Caroline National Memorial, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, and Fort Matanzas National Monument.
"These four National Parks offer visitors a diversity of experiences and draw visitors from around the world" said Barbara Goodman, superintendent of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve and Fort Caroline National Memorial, in Jacksonville. "We are delighted to share the stories of these places and provide recreational experiences for our visitors." 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 neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and 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 most of the visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and Bed &Breakfasts (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 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 Florida and how the National Park Service works with Florida communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/Florida