A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 6,675,119 visitors to national parks in Maryland spent $246.6 million in the state in 2021.
The spending led to 2,940 jobs and a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $344.3 million, according to a news release.
The national parks in Maryland include Antietam National Battlefield; the Appalachian National Scenic Trail; Assateague Island National Seashore; Catoctin Mountain Park; Chesapeake Bay Watershed; Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park; Clara Barton National Historic Site; Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine; Fort Washington Park; Glen Echo Park; Greenbelt Park; Harpers Ferry National Historical Park; Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park; Monocacy National Battlefield; and Piscataway Park.
Economists at the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis, which showed $20.5 billion of direct spending by over 297 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.
The spending supported 322,600 jobs nationally, and 269,900 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $42.5 billion.
As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurant sector had the second most significant effect, with $4.2 billion in economic output nationally.
Report authors also produced an interactive tool to explore 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 on the NPS Social Science Program webpage at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.
To learn more about national parks in Maryland and how the National Park Service works with Maryland communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, visit www.nps.gov/maryland.