2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects

Short Description

Golden Gate Bridge Park ViewThe 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 economic activity within park gateway communities. This report summarizes the annual economic contribution analysis that measures how NPS visitor spending cycles through local economies, generating business sales and supporting jobs and income.

In 2018, the National Park System received an estimated 318.2 million recreation visits. Visitors to national parks spent an estimated $20.2 billion in local gateway regions. The contribution of this spending to the national economy was 329,000 jobs, $13.6 billion in labor income, $23.4 billion in value added, and $40.1 billion in economic output. The lodging sector saw the highest direct effects, with $6.8 billion in economic output directly contributed to this sector nationally. The restaurants sector saw the next greatest effects, with $4.0 billion in economic output directly contributed to this sector 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. The interactive tool is available at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.

Related Partners

Most people know that the National Park Service cares for national parks, a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation. The treasures in this system -- the first of its kind in the world -- have been set aside by the American people to preserve, protect, and share, the legacies of this land.
The USGS serves the Nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Suggested Citation

2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects Economic Contributions to Local Communities, States, and the Nation Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR—2019/1922 Catherine Cullinane Thomas 1, Lynne Koontz 2, and Egan Cornachione 1

1 U.S. Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center Fort Collins, Colorado

2 National Park Service Environmental Quality Division Fort Collins, Colorado