2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects
In May, the National Park Service released its annual report on the economic impact of park visitation to the U.S. economy, 2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, which found in 2018 318 million visitors to National Park sites spent $20.2 billion in gateway communities, supporting more than 268,000 jobs. Visitor spending increased by $2 billion over 2017.
According to the report, lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending totaling nearly $6.8 billion in 2018. Food expenses are the second largest spending area with visitors spending $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.
NPS produces an interactive tool that breaks down the economic impact by state and park, which can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm
The press release announcing the report’s results can be read here: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/national-park-visitor-spending-contributed-40-billion-us-economy