In 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) unveiled staggering figures showcasing the monumental economic impact of national park visitations.
According to the report, visitor spending in communities near national parks culminated in a record-breaking $50.3 billion, invigorating the nation’s economy and bolstering employment with 378,400 jobs.
Secretary Deb Haaland, a staunch advocate for the preservation and appreciation of nature, underscored its quintessential role in the prosperity and well-being of American families and communities.
Beyond the intrinsic value of outdoor recreation, she highlighted its substantial economic ramifications. As visitors flock to these scenic locales, their expenditures cascade through the surrounding communities, amplifying local economies.
“When people visit one of our amazing parks, they are contributing to the community around them. That’s why our Administration is working so hard through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to provide resources to the National Park System for critical infrastructure and maintenance needs,” Haaland said.
The National Park Service’s comprehensive report, titled “2022 National Park Visitor Spending Effects,” delved into the granular details of this economic phenomenon.
A staggering 312 million visitors, drawn by the allure of America’s pristine landscapes, spent $23.9 billion in communities within a 60-mile radius of a national park. This influx of tourist dollars directly supported 314,600 jobs, predominantly in gateway communities adjacent to these parks.
National Park Service Director Chuck Sams, reflecting on the agency’s century-long stewardship of these national gems, emphasized the undeniable economic footprint of park tourism.
These parks, he noted, are not just sanctuaries for biodiversity but also potent drivers of the national economy. Their allure attracts millions, translating visits into jobs and revenue, benefiting communities across the nation.
The fiscal year 2022 saw the National Park Service receiving appropriations totaling $3.3 billion. This investment showcases a remarkable return, where every dollar funneled into the national parks translates into a tenfold boost to the nation’s economic machinery. Such figures not only underscore the tangible benefits of preserving these natural wonders but also highlight their role as economic powerhouses.
The record-breaking figures of 2022 are a testament to the intertwined relationship between conservation and economic prosperity. National parks, with their breathtaking vistas and rich biodiversity, continue to be a magnet for tourists.
Visitation numbers not only underscores the collective appreciation for nature’s wonders but also drives economic engines, benefiting local communities and the nation at large. As we look to the future, it’s evident that national parks will continue to play a pivotal role in the nation’s economic and environmental tapestry.