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Contact: Kekoa Rosehill, 610-783-1013
Report shows visitor spending supports 471 jobs In local economy
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2.1 million visitors to Valley Forge National Historical Park in 2015 spent $26.6 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 471 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $40.1 million. Compared with 2014, visitor spending was up $2.4 million and 40 more local jobs were supported by the park.
"Valley Forge National Historical Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," said Acting Superintendent Pat Madden. "We are delighted to share the story of Valley Forge and the educational and recreational experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to Southeast Pennsylvania and all that it offers. 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 Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB), a strategic partner with Valley Forge National Historical Park, markets the park by highlighting the appeal of its history, family-friendly programming, natural beauty, and recreation and fitness possibilities. "The park's story is known nationwide and across the globe, and it remains one of the most compelling reasons tourists schedule a visit here," said VFTCB President and CEO Mike Bowman. "The National Park Service data underscores what we've known for a long time: Valley Forge is a crucial part of the local tourism industry, and we are very fortunate to have it as an asset in bringing people to Montgomery County, Pennsylvania."
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 $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally;252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.
According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).
Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: go.nps.gov/vse.
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Pennsylvania and how the National Park Service works with Pennsylvania communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/pennsylvania.
About Valley Forge National Historical Park. Valley Forge is the site of the 1777-78 winter encampment of George Washington and the Continental Army. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation and honors the ability of citizens to pull together and overcome adversity during extraordinary times. Learn more at www.nps.gov/vafo
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.