WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt today announced the annual economic benefit of national parks to the U.S. and local economies. In 2019, visitor spending in communities near national parks resulted in a $41.7 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 340,500 jobs.
“Safely increasing access to national parks and other public lands supports individual and collective physical and mental wellness, said National Park Service Deputy Director David Vela, exercising the authority of the Director. “It also benefits park gateway communities where millions of visitors each year find a place to sleep and eat, hire outfitters and guides and make use of other local services that help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry.”
According to the annual National Park Service report released today, 2019 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, more than 327 million visitors spent $21 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park in the National Park System. Of the 340,500 jobs supported by visitor spending, more than 278,000 jobs exist in communities adjacent to parks. The report includes statistics by park and states on visitor spending and the number of jobs supported by visitor spending.
Nevada’s four national park sites generated $260 Million in services surrounding parks including lodging, restaurants, services like guides and rentals, and in the park with camping fees from a combined 9.3 million visitors. Nevada’s Great Basin National Park situated southeast of Ely toward the Utah border, saw a dip downward last year from $261 Million in Visitor Spending in 2018 to $260 Million in 2019. Of the 2019 revenue near Nevada’s National Parks, $71.5 Million came from lodging and $57.6 Million came from restaurants in the area serving visitors.
In contrast, the NPS’s best-known park, Grand Canyon National Park, attracted nearly 6 million visitors who spent more than $890 million, supporting 11,806 jobs and generating a $1.1 billion total economic output.
“We have been working to safely welcome the public back to their national parks and provide more service again,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “These treasured places provide respite and recreation for the American people, in addition to vital economic support to gateway communities across the country. The tremendous value of our national parks is undeniable, as is the need to adequately maintain them.”
Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending totaling $7.1 billion in 2019. The restaurant sector had the next greatest effects with $4.2 billion in economic output. Motor vehicle fuel expenditures were $2.16 billion with retail spending at $1.93 billion.
Nationwide, visitor spending increased by $800 million from 2018 to 2019 and the overall effect on the U.S economy grew by $1.6 billion. As the top of the trend, visitor spending has increased by $4.1 billion over the last five years, and the effect on the U.S. economy grew by $9.7 billion. The quarantine-related closures are expected to have a significant impact on revenue for the parks and the surrounding communities.
See the NPS’s interactive tool www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience and select Nevada to see annual and trend data for Economic Contributions to State Economies for Visitor Spending, Jobs, Labor Income, Value Added and Economic Output.
The Department of the Interior conserves and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people provides scientific and other information about natural resources and natural hazards to address societal challenges and create opportunities for the American people, and honors the Nation’s trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives and affiliated island communities to help them prosper. There are National Park System sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.