Hawaii's nine national parks and historic sites welcomed 4.83 million visitors in 2018, according to a new report from the National Park Service.
The study found visitation to the Aloha State's national parks brought in $526 million in spending, and supported 5,800 jobs for a cumulative $734 million boost to the state economy. The attendance numbers are down from 2017, when more than 6 million visitors came to the state's NPS-led attractions, largely due to the destruction and closures caused by the eruption of Kilauea on Hawaii Island.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park welcomed 1.11 million visitors in 2018, who spent more than $94 million in and around the area. It was a steep fall in attendance for the park as tremors and rivers of flowing lava shuttered the area for roughly four months. In 2017, more than 2 million visitors entered the gates, injecting $166 million in spending into the Island of Hawaii economy.
For 2018, Haleakala National Park on Maui trailed closely behind as the second most visited National Park Service site in the state with 1.04 million visitors, who spent $67 million locally. In 2017, 1.1 million people came to park known for its sunrise vistas.
The nine Hawaii locations administered by the National Park Service are Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Pearl Harbor National Memorial, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, Honouliuli Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, and Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site.
Nationwide, the report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park, supporting 329,000 jobs nationally, and a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion. Lodging expenses are the single biggest expenditure among park visitors, followed by spending on food.