2014 National Park visitor spending effects: economic contributions to local communities, states, and the nation

Product Type: 

Contractor Report

Year: 

2015

Author(s): 

Cullinane Thomas, C.M., C.C. Huber, and L. Koontz

Suggested Citation: 

Cullinane Thomas, C.M., C.C. Huber, and L. Koontz. 2015. 2014 National Park visitor spending effects: economic contributions to local communities, states, and the nation. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR—2015/947. Fort Collins, Colorado: National Park Service. 50 p.

Executive Summary

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 2014, the National Park System received over 292 million recreation visits. NPS visitors spent $15.7 billion in local gateway regions (defined as communities within 60 miles of a park). The contribution of this spending to the national economy was 277 thousand jobs, $10.3 billion in labor income, $17.1 billion in value added, and $29.7 billion in output. The lodging sector saw the highest direct contributions with 48 thousand jobs and $4.8 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally. The sector with the next greatest direct contributions was restaurants and bars, with 60 thousand jobs and $3.2 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally.

New this year, results from the Visitor Spending Effects report series are available online via an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. This interactive tool is available via the NPS Social Science Program webpage at http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.

      

Cathy Cullinane Thomas
Cathy Cullinane ThomasChris HuberLynne Koontz