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News for July 2, 2022

National Park Visitor Spending Contributed $42.5B to U.S. Economy, $490M to Camping Sector in 2021

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Visitor spending in communities near national parks pitched $42.5 billion to the United States’ economy and supported over 322,600 local jobs, mostly in hotels, restaurants, transportation, and recreation, the Department of the Interior announced today.

“Nature is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every family and community in America, as well as to the local economies of gateway communities that support our national parks,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “As we continue to welcome families to our parks and public lands across the country, the Interior Department is committed to making investments in our lands and waters that will support tens of thousands of jobs, safeguard the environment, and help ensure that national parks and public lands are ready to meet the challenges of climate change and increased visitation.” 

According to the National Park Service report, 2021 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, approximately 297 million visitors spent $20.5 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park. Of the 322,600 jobs supported by visitor spending, 268,900 jobs were in park gateway communities.

The camping sector is one of the directly affected sectors, with visitors spending $490 million last year.

The report also noted that visitor spending in 2021 meant $14.6 billion in labor income and $24.3 billion in value-added.

Out of all the directly affected sectors, the lodging sector (hotels) saw the highest direct effects, with $7 billion in economic output. The restaurant sector came next, with $4.2 billion in economic output.

The annual peer-reviewed economics report was prepared by economists from the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service. It includes information by parks and states on visitor spending, the number of jobs supported by visitor spending, and other statistics.

The National Park Service is initiating a new socioeconomic monitoring project in 2022 that will survey park visitors in 24 parks yearly for the next ten years or more. One of the early parks surveyed under this method was Zion National Park in 2021, offering an updated picture of visitor spending.

“Zion National Park was one of the first parks where visitors were surveyed under the new method. The results showed that our previous estimates or ‘profiles’ of average visitors underestimated the time they spent in the park and in gateway communities, and we underestimated the amount of money they spent during their trips to the park,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The new survey information will enable park managers to further improve the visitor experience and guide how to reach and engage with people who have yet to visit a national park.”  

For more state-by-state information about national parks and how the National Park Service is working with communities, go to http://www.nps.gov/statename, for example: http://www.nps.gov/virginia.

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Modern Campground

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: National Park Visitor Spending Contributed .5B to U.S. Economy, 0M to Camping Sector in 2021! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/national-park-visitor-spending-contributed-42-5b-to-u-s-economy-490m-to-camping-sector-in-2021/