A new National Park
Service (NPS) report shows that 1,889,381 visitors to Indiana Dunes National
Lakeshore in 2012 spent $75.9 million in communities near the park.
supported 947 jobs in the local area,” NPS said in a statement released on
Of those 1,889,381
visitors, fully 1,289,857--or 68 percent--were
“non-local recreation visits,” during which $67 million was spent in
communities near the park, supporting 848 jobs.
National Lakeshore is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and
around the world,” Acting Superintendent Sue Bennett said. “We are delighted
to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use
the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and
all that it offers.
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,” Bennett 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.”
visitor-spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists
Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for NPS.
The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park
visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending
supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway
communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75
billion, NPS said.
According to the
report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery, and
convenience stores (39 percent); hotels, motels, and B&Bs (27 percent); and
other amusement and recreation (20 percent).
The Top Five
national parks, in terms of non-local visitorship: the Blue Ridge Parkway,
with 14.2 million spending $890 million; the Great Smokey Mountains National
Park, with 9.1 million spending $728 million; the Golden Gate National
Recreational Area, with 5.9 million spending $209 million; the Lincoln
Memorial, with 5.1 million spending $98 million; and the Lake Mead
Recreational Area, with 4.3 million spending $224,126 million.
characteristics and spending averages are adapted from national averages for
each park type,” the study states in a footnote.
Download the report
The report includes
information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about
national parks in Indiana and how the National Park Service works with
Indiana communities to help preserve local history, conserve the
environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to