July 24, 2014
Barbara Goodman, Superintendent, Timucuan Preserve & Fort Caroline, (904) 221-5568
Gordon Wilson, Superintendent, Castillo de San Marcos & Fort Matanzas, (904) 829-6506
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –– There are four National Parks within Northeast Florida. A recent National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,640,577 people visited these sites during 2013. National Park Service reports that these visitors spent $145 million in the communities near the parks and that spending supported 2,050 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, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 197,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.
According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent). The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).
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