April 23, 2015

New NPS report touts economic
benefit of Outer Banks parks


A new National Park Service report for 2014 shows that more than 2.8 million visitors to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, and Wright Brothers National Memorial spent more than $170 million in communities in and around the parks.  This spending supported approximately 2,683 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of more than $212 million dollars.

“The Outer Banks Group national parks welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent David Hallac.  “They are wonderful places to experience the natural resources of the Outer Banks and we are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides.”  

In addition, Hallac stated, “We also feature the parks 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 $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 to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.  

The report shows that $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.  This spending supported more than 277,000 jobs nationally with 235,600 of those jobs found in these gateway communities.  The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy is $29.7 billion.  

According to the 2014 report, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 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 North Carolina and how the National Park Service works with North Carolina communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/northcarolina.  

For more information on the Outer Banks Group, go to www.nps.gov/caha, www.nps.gov/fora, www.nps.gov/wrbr, or call 252-473-2111.

 
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