National parks generated $41.7 billion for the U.S. economy in 2019 and supported 340,500 jobs, the Department of Interior said Thursday in releasing the report, “2019 National Park Visitor Spending Effects.”
Visitor spending increased by $800 million from 2018 to 2019, and the overall effect on the U.S economy grew by $1.6 billion, the report indicated. In the past five years, visitor spending has increased by $4.1 billion, and the effect on the U.S. economy grew by $9.7 billion.
“We have been working to safely welcome the public back to their national parks and provide more service again,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. “These treasured places provide respite and recreation for the American people, in addition to vital economic support to gateway communities across the country.”
According to the report, more than 327 million visitors spent $21 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park in the National Park Service. Of the 340,500 jobs supported by visitor spending, more than 278,000 jobs exist in communities adjacent to parks. The report includes statistics by park and by state on visitor spending and the number of jobs supported by visitor spending.
In North Dakota, the report cited $46 million in visitor spending as a result of visits to National Park Service sites, creating 644 jobs and $58.9 million in economic output. NPS facilities in Minnesota resulted in $60.9 million in visitor spending, 875 jobs and $86.6 million in economic output, the report stated.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Knife River Indian Villages Historic Site and Fort Union Trading Post are part of the National Park Service in North Dakota, along with the state’s portion of the North Country Scenic Trail.
In Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park, St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Grand Portage National Monument and the state’s portion of the North Country Scenic Trail are part of the NPS system.
Lodging expenses accounted for the largest share of visitor spending, totaling $7.1 billion in 2019. The restaurant sector had the next greatest effects with $4.2 billion in economic output. Motor vehicle fuel expenditures were $2.16 billion, with retail spending at $1.93 billion.
An online interactive tool enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added and output effects by sector for national, state and local economies. It also shows annual trend data.
More info: nps.gov.