A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 214,841 visitors to Voyageurs National Park in 2012 spent over $16 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 225 jobs in the local area. “This growth over the last few years means that for every $1 spent by tax payers to run Voyageurs National Park $4 is returned to the gateway communities” said Superintendent Mike Ward.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Minnesota and how the National Park Service works with Voyageurs National Park communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/voya.