Record visitations at national parks generate billions of dollars in 2016

Isle Royale National Park in remote Michigan. (National Park Service)

WASHINGTON – National park visitation generated $34.9 billion for the U.S. economy in 2016, a $2.9 billion increase from 2015, and supported 318,000 jobs, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced today.

The 2016 National Park Visitor Spending Effects report is available here.

“A record-breaking 331 million visitors came to parks like the Grand Canyon and Gettysburg in 2016 as the Park Service celebrated its centennial,” Theresa Pierno, president and CEO of National Parks Conservation Association, said in a release from the NPCA.

National parks continue to be major economic drivers for local communities and the nation, the release said. For every dollar Congress invests in the National Park Service, more than $10 is returned to the American economy. Much of that money directly benefits parks’ gateway communities as visitors stay in local hotels, eat at local restaurants, and buy goods and services from local businesses.

— National Parks Conservation Association

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