Saturday, September 30, 2023


National park visits break record, propel U.S. economy with unprecedented $50.3 billion visitor spending in 2022

On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2022 resulted in a record-high $50.3 billion, which benefited the nation’s economy and supported 378,400 jobs.

“At the Interior Department, we understand that nature is essential to the health, well-being and prosperity of every family and every community in America. But outdoor recreation is not just good for the soul, it’s a significant driver of our national and local economies and job sustainability,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “When people visit one of our amazing parks, they are contributing to the community around them. That’s why our Administration is working so hard through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to provide resources to the National Park System (NPS) for critical infrastructure and maintenance needs.”

The NPS report, 2022 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, finds that nearly 312 million visitors spent $23.9 billion in communities within 60 miles of a national park. Of the 378,400 jobs supported by visitor spending, 314,600 jobs were in park gateway communities.

“Since 1916, the NPS has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 300 million visitors every year. The impact of tourism to national parks is undeniable: bringing jobs and revenue to communities in every state in the country and making national parks an essential driver to the national economy,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams.

Annual appropriations for the NPS totaled $3.3 billion in fiscal year 2022, effectively turning a $1 investment in national parks into a more than $10 boost to the nation’s economy.

The latest report is informed by new socioeconomic monitoring survey data, which greatly increases the accuracy of spending estimates for each park and helps the National Park Service learn more about park visitors. This advanced monitoring also delivers a more accurate estimate of the economic contributions of parks to communities.

Results from the Visitor Spending Effects report series are available online via an interactive tool. Users can view year-by-year trend data and explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value-added, and economic output effects by sector for national, state and local economies. The interactive tool is available on the Visitor Spending Effects webpage.

The annual peer-reviewed economics report was prepared by economists from the National Park Service. Learn more about how NPS-managed lands and programs provide economic benefits on the NPS economics webpage.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

this on the heels of reports that out of state fees are going way up. Bryce, and other Utah locations just lost my business. after my Crater Lake trip this year, ive decided that there are plenty of places to spend my money in Northern Cali. Brandon isnt doing anything for the middle income

1 month ago

I agree with David ! We’ve been visiting the National parks for over 25 years and I’ve never been more appalled at the conditions as I have this year !
Grand Canyon visitor center only open 8 am -12 noon and completely closed Tuesdays and Wednesday’s ( they say due to short staffing )! Zion National park ranger in the Watchman campground check in booth won’t even open the window to talk to you ! They have a sign posted saying to proceed to the site you booked on Recreation .gov and a basket on a shelf with the campground map ( that you have to exit your rig to reach !).
Seems they are using other sources to do the jobs they are getting paid to do ! The only time we saw a ranger was when they drove their cart around to change the reservation tags on the poles ! Great that the surrounding communities are benefitting but where is the care for the parks themselves and the people who are paying to visit them ?

Larry Lagerberg
1 month ago

Good for that part of the economy and those jobs, but let’s pump the brakes a bit. The overall economic output is around 20 trillion and there around some 160 million employed here.

Bill Braniff
1 month ago

I live close to Acadia and lo and behold, today I read an article stating that over 4 million visitors again this year. Causing problems with locals in Bar Harbor and MDI,the Island community next to Bar Harbor and Acadia. Businesses complained that again they had problems finding employees. Gee, no surprise there as Bar harbor is a very expensive and reclusive spot for lower income folks to find a bed to sleep in. Local residents are tired of the Cruise Ships coming in bringing multi millions in income to the area.
How to fix the problem? Easy expel all those earning over 1 million a year and make room for working folks.

1 month ago

Gee…maybe they can fix the dump stations and install new fixtures? All these new folks, we all know what a bear does in the woods. New R.V.ers may do the same if they don’t have a proper place and full tanks….
Maybe even a back-hoe to level sites? Whoa Nelly, I may be asking for too much?

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.