Anew National Park Service report shows that 525,745 visitors to Biscayne National Park in 2014 spent more than $32.3 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 459 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of nearly $44.8 million.
“Biscayne National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Brian Carlstrom, superintendent. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the four parks of South Florida 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,” he added. “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 study also shows that the four South Florida national park units including Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve, had a combined visitation of 2,894,366. The four park units supported a total of 3,380 jobs and generated more than $231 million in the communities within the region.
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 $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.
According to the report most park visitor spending was for lodging (30 percent) followed by food and beverages (20 percent), gas and oil (12 percent), admissions and fees (10 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).
To download the report visit 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 Florida and how the National Park Service works with Florida communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/florid.