Park visitor spending, related jobs rose in 2012

Posted: March 05, 2014

PHILADELPHIA Visitors in 2012 to Independence National Historical Park, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site on North Seventh Street, and the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial on Pine Street spent $195 million in communities near the parks, according to a report released Monday by the National Park Service.

The spending by 3,615,698 park visitors supported 2,736 jobs in the area, the report says.

"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," said Cynthia MacLeod, Independence Park superintendent.

The numbers are relatively robust compared to those of the previous year, when the economy was still sluggish in the wake of the 2008 recession.

In 2011, visitors spent $151 million supporting 2,103 jobs.

The economic-impact study was performed for the National Park Service by U.S. Geological Survey economists.

Nationally, the report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending throughout the country by 283 million national park visitors.

The spending took place within 60 miles of a national park and supported 243,000 jobs.

The park service has also released a report showing that the 16-day government shutdown in October last year had a "significant impact" on local economies.

The report showed a 7.88 million decline in overall October visitation (compared with previous Octobers), resulting in a loss of $414 million in local spending. Local communities near 45 parks experienced a loss of more than $2 million in park-related visitor spending due to the shutdown, the report states.

From 2010 to 2012, Independence Park averaged 301,928 October visitors, spending on average $16.5 million. In October 2013, visitation plummeted to 166,039, and spending dropped to $9.1 million.

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