The National Park Service announced that visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2020 resulted in a $28.6 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 234,000 jobs.
“The pandemic reminds us all of the importance of the outdoors not only to our economy but also to our health and wellness,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “We are excited to welcome visitors back outdoors as the weather warms and more people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We are expecting high visitation this summer and encourage visitors to explore our website as they plan their trips.”
According to the National Park Service report, 2020 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, approximately 237 million visitors spent $14.5 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park. Of the 234,000 jobs supported by visitor spending, 194,400 jobs were in communities located within 50 miles of a park.
As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $5 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurant sector had the second greatest impact, with $3 billion in economic output nationally. Visitor spending supported more than 43,100 jobs in lodging and 45,900 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending supported more than 18,100 jobs in recreation industries and 14,300 jobs in retail.
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 by states on visitor spending, the number of jobs supported by visitor spending and other statistics.
An interactive tool enables users 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.
State-by-state information is available on nps.gov/orgs/1207/vse2020; 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]