More Than $1.4 Billion in Economic Benefit Generated from National Park Tourism in the National Capital Region

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Date: April 23, 2015
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, (202) 619-7177

New report shows visitor spending supports 14,957 jobs in the region 

WASHINGTON – A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2014 shows that the spending of nearly 38 million visitors to national parks in the National Capital Region resulted in 14,957 jobs and contributed more than $1.4 billion to the region’s economy. 

“The national parks in the greater Washington area attract visitors from across the country and around the world,” Regional Director Bob Vogel said. “Whether they are out for their daily walk or jog, a school field trip, or a family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and a big factor in this region’s economy as well.”

The study, a peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis, was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, and economist Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. 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 more than 277,000 jobs nationally, with more than 235,600 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $29.7 billion.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverage (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs (9.9 percent).

National Parks in the National Capital Region

Visitation (2014)

Economic Benefit ($ thousands)

Jobs Supported

Antietam National Battlefield

337,080

$25, 738.1

274

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial

671,638

$51,081.3

537

Catoctin Mountain Park

188,170

$14,592.2

150

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park

5,066,219

$130,497.5

1,381

Clara Barton National Historic Site

20,028

$1,528.1

14

Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

655,441

$16,795.9

172

Fort Washington Park

466,078

$35,176.2

367

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

2,938,238

$75,293.3

775

Frederick Douglas National Historic Site

45,492

$1,163.8

11

George Washington Memorial Parkway

7,472,150

$66,695.2

854

Greenbelt Park

132,688

$10,496.1

107

Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

261,203

$17,919

192

Korean War Veterans Memorial

3,767,287

$96,538

992

Lincoln Memorial

7,139,073

$182,941.1

1,882

Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac

254,168

$19,330.7

203

Manassas National Battlefield Park

514,139

$38,938

408

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

3,199,136

$81,978.9

842

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

9,295

$238.2

3

Monocacy National Battlefield

56,187

$6,278.9

65

National Capital Parks - East

1,311,995

$34,049.6

352

National Mall & Memorial Parks (National Capital Parks - Central - see some monuments and memorial listed separately)

1,999,231

$51,281.3

528

Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site

54,035

$1,384.7

13

Piscataway Park

109,472

$8,263.4

85

President's Park (White House)

1,293,315

$33,141.6

340

Prince William Forest Park

315,072

$23,403.6

237

Rock Creek Park

2,437,948

$62,654.2

645

Theodore Roosevelt Island

146,500

$11,142

117

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

2,708,607

$69,408.9

713

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

4,403,467

$112,840.3

1,160

Washington Monument (re-opened May 2014)

423,170

$10,843.9

110

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

388,283

$29,647.4

314

Wolf War II Memorial

4,230,793

$108,415.4

1114

TOTAL

53,015,598

$1,403,959

14,957


National Parks (including parks beyond the National Capital Region)

Visitation (2014)

Economic Benefit ($ Millions)

Jobs Supported

District of Columbia

37,701,217

$727.3

6,681

Maryland

6,815,197

$293.4

3,171

Virginia

22,870,532

$1,255.3

14,753

West Virginia

1,541,807

$75.1

1,015

 

To download the reportvisit https://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.

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Last updated: April 30, 2015

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