Spending by last year’s
record number of visitors to the U.S. national parks injected $32 billion
into the economy and supported 295,000 jobs, according to a report
released Thursday by the National Park Service (NPS).
director Jonathan Jarvis said that national park visitors spent $16.9 billion
in communities located within 60 miles of a national park.
“Each tax dollar
invested in the National Park Service effectively returns $10 to the U.S.
economy,” Jarvis said.
The NPS report comes after U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell earlier this week called for
greater investment in the conservation of national parks. The NPS is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its
founding this year.
Jewell also said that the
country needs to work toward making national parks more relevant to an
increasingly diverse and urbanized population.
Some 307 million people
visited the national parks in 2015, and of the $32 billion those visitors spent
in the parks, 31.1% was for lodging, followed by food and beverages (20.2%),
gas and oil (11.8%), admissions and fees (10.2%) and souvenirs and other
Visitation to the
411 national parks is expected to increase
further during the 2016 centennial year.