Headwaters Economics has created an interactive page that shows how protected public lands such as national parks can play an important economic role for local communities. The web-based tool lists visits, non-local spending, and the number of jobs created in gateway communities for each of the National Park Service units.
Visitation, tourism, and jobs related to nearby public lands annually contribute billions to regional economies while creating hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs. The economic benefits extend far beyond tourism. In today’s economy, the greatest value of natural amenities and recreation opportunities often lies in the land’s ability to attract and retain people, entrepreneurs, their businesses, and the growing number of retirees who locate for quality of life reasons.
Interactive Page: Visits, Spending, and Jobs Created at National Parks
This interactive page that shows visits, non-local spending, and the number of jobs created in gateway communities for each of the National Park Service units.
Sources and Acknowledgments
How to cite this information. Data was obtained from the web site for the MGM2 model which is used to estimate the economic impacts from visitation to National Park Service visitor spending in a local region. MGM2 model was developed in 2001 by Daniel Stynes and Dennis Propst at Michigan State University, and is an update from the original MGM (Money Generation Model) developed by Ken Hornback. The data are used by permission.
Visitor spending and NPS employee payroll estimates used in the MGM2 model are reported in: U.S. Department of the Interior. 2010. National Park Service, Social Science Program, Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, Washington, D.C.
Note: Some data may not be available for all National Park Service units. Due to a change in multipliers used in the model for 2009, some units may show a decrease in estimated jobs compared to earlier years.