National Park Tourism Brings in $723.3 Million for Wyoming
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that their were 6,079,577 visitors to Wyoming’s national parks in 2013 and they spent $723.3 million and supported 9,307 jobs in our great state.
“From Grand Teton to Fossil Butte National Monument, Wyoming’s national parks attract more than 6 million visitors a year from across the country and around the world,” said Sue Masica, director of NPS’s Intermountain Region, which includes Wyoming and seven other states. “Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip or a long family vacation, they come for a great experience -- and they end up spending a little money along the way, too. This new report confirms that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. This reality makes parks tourism an important factor in Wyoming’s economy as well. It’s a result we all can support.”
Wyoming’s six national parks include: Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks; Devils Tower and Fossil Butte national monuments; John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, and Fort Laramie National Historic Site.
The peer-reviewed NPS visitor spending analysis was conducted for the National Park Service by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz. The national report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in “gateway” communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 237,000 jobs nationally -- 197,000 them in park gateway communities -- and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.
The 2013 economic benefit figures differ slightly from the 2012 results, which were reported earlier this year. In 2012, more people visited Wyoming parks (6,194,752), but they spent slightly less ($721 million) and supported 65 more jobs (9,372) in the state than in 2013. The authors of the report said the 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 accounted for most of the national decline in park visitation. The economists also cited inflation adjustments for differences between visitation and visitor spending, jobs supported and overall effect on the U.S. economy.
According to the national report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent), food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), and admissions and fees (10.3 percent). Souvenirs and other expenses accounted for the remaining 10 percent. Nationally, the largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).
To download the report, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm. The report includes information for visitor spending by park and by state.
To learn more about Wyoming’s national parks and how the National Park Service works with communities in the state to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/wyoming.