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Contact: Stephanie Loeb, 610-783-1013
Report shows visitor spending supports 476 jobs in local economy
KING OF PRUSSIA, PA –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the 1.9 million visitors to Valley Forge National Historical Park and 48,105 visitors to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site in 2014 spent $24.2 million and $2.7 million respectively, in communities near the parks. That spending supported 431 jobs in the local Valley Forge area and 45 jobs in the local Hopewell Furnace area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $36.4 million at Valley Forge and $3.9 million at Hopewell Furnace.
"Valley Forge and Hopewell Furnace welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Kate Hammond. "We are delighted to share the stories of these places and the experiences they provide. From the American Revolution through the Industrial Revolution, we feature these parks as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country 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 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 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.