National economic impact of National Parks
While many people think of National Parks as only being in "rural" and exurban settings, there are many National Park installations in major cities including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, St. Louis, New York City, and elsewhere.
From the National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network:
National Economic Impact Report
On February 28, the National Park Service released its national report on the effects of visitor spending in national parks and communities surrounding those parks. Bottom line: visitors to the National Park System contributed more than $31 billion to local economies and supported more than 258,000 jobs in 2010. To download the national report, click on "Economic Benefits to Local Communities from national Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010."
Gateways Network Economic Impact Study Completed
The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office has released the report "Economic Contribution of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network to Local Economies". The economic assessment was sponsored in partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy. The principal investigator was Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University. The report estimates the overall contribution of tourism activity to the Chesapeake Bay region using an analysis of statewide tourism studies. In addition, Dr. Stynes used modeling to estimate the local economic impacts of visitor spending for thirteen case study sites in the Gateways Network.
The report shows that tourists spent $25.7 billion in the study region in 2009, supporting 273,000 direct jobs and $6.6 million in direct payroll income. Dr. Stynes did find that economic estimates were limited by the lack of good visitor information at Gateway partner sites. As a service to Gateway partners, we asked that the full report include recommendations for collecting visitor data along with a sample questionnaire for gathering visitor segment, spending, and "visit conversion" data. There are many reasons to collect high quality visitor statistics -- to serve as a baseline, to encourage funding, to better serve and better understand your customers. If you'd like to launch a study before the high season kicks in, contact us if you'd like some help.
Download a pdf of the report's Executive Summary or the full-length Technical Report.