A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 241,911 visitors to Voyageurs National Park in 2016 spent $19,780,200 in communities near the park. That spending supported 310 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefits to the local economy of $24,601,600.
“Voyageurs National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Bob DeGross. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning more than $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping sustain local communities.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.
According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5 percent).
Report authors this year produced an interactive tool where users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data.
To learn more about National Parks in Minnesota and how the National Park Service works with Minnesota communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/Minnesota.
National Park Service