2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects
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 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.
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