National parks, monuments, trails and historic sites are pumping more than $444 million into Pennsylvania’s economy each year. Numbers from the National Park Service show more than 9 million visits to Park Service lands in Pennsylvania in 2013.
While there’s often criticism that public lands don’t generate local income unless they’re drilled or harvested for timber, the report outlines other income streams, said Craig Dalby, chief of public information programs for the Park Service.
“The flight to a place, renting a car, getting to the place – and then, of course, spending money at the location or near the park,” he said. “That all generates economic activity.”
Eighteen national parks and almost 200 national natural and historic landmarks lie within Pennsylvania. The report shows that national-park tourism returns $10 to local economies for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.
Park Service lands are connected to about 7,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, Dalby said.
“The economic activity that is generated from visitors going to parks does have that effect of creating work for people,” he said.
According to the report, 39 percent of visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores. Lodging accounts for 27 percent, and other amusement and recreation account for 20 percent.
Pennsylvania statistics are online at nps.gov/state/pa/.
Source: Keystone State News Connection