Tourism to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Creates $173 Million in Economic Benefits
Release Date: May 4, 2015
Contact: Frank Mares, JNEM
Contact: Jenna Todoroff, Common Ground PR
ST. LOUISA new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2 million visitors to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in 2014 spent $173 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 3000 jobs in the local area, and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $270 million.
“The Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Tom Bradley, Superintendent, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. “We are delighted to share the story of westward expansion and introduce visitors to the St. Louis region 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. 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 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 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).
To download the report visit http://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 Missouri and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/Missouri.