2012 National Park visitor spending effects: economic contributions to local communities, states, and the nation

Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR-2014/765
By: , and 

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Abstract

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 2012, the National Park System received over 282 million recreation visits. NPS visitors spent $14.7 billion in local gateway regions (defined as communities within 60 miles of a park). The contribution of this spending to the national economy was 243 thousand jobs, $9.3 billion in labor income, $15.8 billion in value added, and $26.8 billion in output. The lodging sector saw the highest direct contributions with more than 40 thousand jobs and $4.5 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally. The sector with the next greatest direct contributions was restaurants and bars, with 51 thousand jobs and $3 billion in output directly contributed to local gateway economies nationally.

This 2012 analysis marks a major revision to the NPS visitor spending effects analyses, with the development of a new visitor spending effects model (VSE model) that replaces the former Money Generation Model (MGM2). Many of the hallmarks and processes of the MGM2 model are preserved in the new VSE model, but the new model makes significant strides in improving the accuracy and transparency of the analysis. Because of this change from the MGM2 model to the VSE model, estimates from this year’s analysis are not directly comparable to previous analyses.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Title 2012 National Park visitor spending effects: economic contributions to local communities, states, and the nation
Series title Natural Resource Report
Series number NPS/NRSS/EQD/NRR-2014/765
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher National Park Service
Publisher location Fort Collins, CO
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description v, 42 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N