A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 6,006,442 visitors to national parks in Maryland spent $202,500,000 in the state in 2018. That spending resulted in 2,573 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $271,200,000.
“The national parks of Maryland attract visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Northeast Region Director Gay Vietzke. “Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip, or a month-long family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and a big factor in our state’s economy as well, a result we can all support.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 329,000 jobs nationally; 268,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.
Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion in 2018. Food expenses are the second largest spending area and visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.
Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs and more than 61,000 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.
National Park Service (NPS) sites in Montgomery County, Maryland include:
Visit the interactive tool – created by the report authors – to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies for the parks in Montgomery County.
Read the full article on NPS.