2015 National Park visitor spending effects: Economic contributions to local communities, states, and the nation
Product Type:Open-file Report
Author(s):Cullinane Thomas, C., and L. Koontz.
Suggested Citation:Cullinane Thomas, C., and L. Koontz. 2016. 2015 National Park visitor spending effects: Economic contributions to local communities, states, and the nation. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR—2016/1200. National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado.
The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. This economic effects analysis measures how NPS visitor spending cycles through local economies, generating business sales and supporting jobs and income.
In 2015, the National Park System received over 307.2 million recreation visits. NPS visitors spent \$16.9 billion in local gateway regions (defined as communities within 60 miles of a park). The contribution of this spending to the national economy was 295 thousand jobs, \$11.1 billion in labor income, \$18.4 billion in value added, and \$32.0 billion in economic output. The lodging sector saw the highest direct contributions with \$5.2 billion in economic output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally. The sector with the next greatest direct contributions was the restaurants and bar sector, with \$3.4 billion in economic output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally.
Results from the Visitor Spending Effects report series are available online via an interactive tool. Users can view year-by-year trend data and explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and economic output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. This interactive tool is available at http://go.nps.gov/vse.