$14.6 Billion in Spending Supports More than 237,000 Jobs Nationally

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Date: July 22, 2014

Contact: Becky Burghart, 575-479-6124, ex. 230


A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 490,000 visitors in 2013 to White Sands NM spent $24.5 million in communities near the monument. That spending supported 307 jobs in the local area. 

"White Sands is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Marie Frías Sauter. "We are delighted to share the story of this special place and the experiences it provides and to use the park 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."

"White Sands is a destination park. The monument brings visitors from around the world who not only enjoy the monument but the many offerings found in the Tularosa Basin, Rio Grande Valley, and the Sacramento Mountains. We are proud to be surrounded by such engaging and friendly communities that provide important amenities for our visitors. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain our local communities, which include Alamogordo and Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas." 

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 $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 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 New Mexico and how the National Park Service works with New Mexico communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/newmexico. 

Last updated: November 6, 2016

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